A neat little hop onto the latest consumer bandwagon as this new run of ‘The Apprentice’ continues. It’s craft beer time. Can the teams produce their own flavoured brands and then flog them to the discerning punters of southern England? Given that most ‘Apprentice’ contestants are strictly Wetherspoons and Wkd Blue types, this task should be great, fish-out-of-water fun.
And so it proves. By the end, assorted gobshites on both teams are barely on speaking terms, one team has attempted to sell beer to trade outlets without taking any samples along and one contestant is already worrying about ‘smelling desperate’. Don’t worry, dearie. You all smell as desperate as each other. And that’s exactly the way we like you…
This steak-centred outlet of the Gordon Ramsay empire sells some fine food. A starter of tender salt and sichuan-pepper squid: very good. Aberdeen Angus ribeye steak: excellent. Slow-cooked pork belly with roast sweet potatoes and chilli-blazing pickled cabbage: outstanding. Great ingredients beautifully cooked. But there were numerous negatives too on our recent visit. One is the expense if you eat steak. A 10oz ribeye costs £32 and comes with not a single extra; it sat in solitary splendour on its wooden plank. Another is the wine list, which offers almost nothing under £30 a bottle. Another is the service, which was almost heroically inattentive at times. We waited five minutes just to be offered a glass of water or a menu, even though waiting staff passed by several times. The large, sparely decorated room with hardwood seating is attractive enough, but it doesn’t quite manage to feel comfortable or cosy – especially with thumping background music. Talk of arbitrage at the neighbouring table made us feel that this is a place for Mayfair Maserati-drivers. For the rest of us, however good some of the food may be, Maze Grill is just not special enough to merit the expense.