Background: I won a competition to review the new Chiquito menu with a £25 voucher towards it. Here’s the review.
To try the new menu (with VIP voucher) I visited the Port Solent Chiquito with my partner. We were celebrating moving in to our first house together, and the voucher went a long way to ensuring we had a great night.
The first thing I want to say about this particular visit is that the service was fantastic; our waiter was friendly, enthusiastic and eager to assist at all times. I’ve never received bad service from any Chiquito branch (and I have been to several including Durham, Newcastle, and Chichester) so the service on this occasion confirmed in my mind that Chiquito works hard to ensure all staff members go above and beyond customer expectations of service.
Now to the important part, the food. The new menu has some exciting additions to it including pulled pork, crab cakes, and – this is particularly exciting for me – low calorie options! For me this is one of the best additions made to the menu as I try to eat as healthily as I can. The salad list has improved to include a Steak Salad as well as a vegetarian option of Goats Cheese and Sweet Potato Salad. Moreover, the low calorie options can be seen in all other areas of the menu; from the Crab Cake starter, the Mexican Burritos, even to the dessert section with the Sorbet Margarita.
Wanting to try out the new low calorie range I opted for the Crab Cake to start. For 175 calories this was a delicious starter; the citrus zest of the lime complemented the delicate flavour of the crab perfectly. The flavour was not overpowering and the dish was not too filling, which was an appetising start to the meal. I washed this down with a Skinny Margarita; again the lime gave a refreshing citrus kick. My partner went for the Jalapeno Poppers which have been our favourite starter on the menu since first coming to Chiquito. It was great to see the reappearance of the chilli jelly, which really completes the dish.
For the main course I couldn’t resist going for something that really caught my eye as opposed to sticking to low calorie – the Taco Tapas Meat Tray. This appealed to me as I adore tapas, being able to try a little bit of each different dish really satisfies the taste buds. The dish came with spicy chicken, beef chilli, pulled pork, and Mexican rice. I also ordered some guacamole and soured cream on the side (my favourite accompaniments) and was thrilled to hear that they now come as free sides to any meal. This is a great treat for customers so I hope the decision is here to stay! I was slightly disappointed, however, with the chicken and chilli part of the meal. I found these dishes did not contain as much spice as I would expect and think they would be greatly improved for adding a little more, perhaps depending on the customer’s tastes. Having said that, the pulled pork was absolutely delicious – it was beautifully tender in a smoky barbecue sauce. My partner went for the pulled pork chimichangas, and he was equally impressed with the pork.
For dessert I had The Chocolate Sizzler which, to coin a term overused on the BBC Apprentice, did exactly what it says on the tin. It sizzled. This was due to the pan the brownie was served in combined with the hot butterscotch sauce, which has always been my favourite. The flavour of the sauce did not disappoint, my only suggestion here is for a slightly thicker sauce. The chocolate brownie was rich in flavour however it lacked the gooey, moist texture that really makes a brownie the ultimate source of comfort. However I fully intend to return to Chiquito in the near future, as it may have just been a dry batch of brownies on this particular occasion. My partner chose three of the shot desserts which were gone within moments so I can only assume they were delicious too.
In summary the new Chiquito menu is a success; it incorporates the old favourites, for example fajitas and steak, as well as providing a healthier option which will prove popular with health conscious individuals such as myself. The star of the show on this occasion was the pulled pork, which I will undoubtedly have again on many an occasion. The service and food was excellent as always, keep up the good work and thank you for the meal Chiquito!