Last night I headed out for dinner at The Garage in Buckingham to celebrate a friends birthday. The restaurant hasn’t been open for long and so it offered us the opportunity to try out somewhere new.
First things first, sort out an outfit for dinner. With it being a cold evening I opted for a Jeff Banks shirt which I’ve had since August but hadn’t had the opportunity to wear yet along with a new Merino wool Polo Ralph Lauren jumper – sorted!
Having navigated our way through the freezing cold roads of Buckingham we arrived at The Garage on Well Street. As the front of a restaurant goes, The Garage looks pretty cool and certainly quirky – particularly for somewhere that positions itself as a little more upmarket in the town.
The owners have kept and positioned the 2 petrol pumps on each side of the entrance along with maintaining the large entrance to the restaurant, glazing it to the ceiling which looks great.
Keeping the restaurant true to its history is something I really love as it’s all too easy for a restaurants to move in to premises like this, gut the place and overly modernise it, losing every element of character that the locals would love.
The Garage describe themselves on their website as follows:
Cool and contemporary with a modern British menu, The Garage is located in The Hidden Quarter of Buckingham on Well Street. Whether on business or with friends we can promise you Great Food, Great Wines, Beers and Cocktails and Great Service. We use seasonal ingredients, sourced locally and match them with a passion for exciting innovative dishes on a menu that is always evolving. We have worked hard to create an environment where you feel relaxed, from the decor which has a contemporary modern feel, to the warm welcome that meets you at the door…
As first impressions go these guys certainly nailed the contemporary look and feel and food and drink selection.
The party that I arrived in was 12 people strong so the restaurant has asked us when booking to take a look at the menu and let them know in advance what main courses we would all like. In addition they asked us to put down a £10 per head deposit due to the size of our group and the size of the restaurant which I felt was quite fair.
Sitting down for dinner on a very large table in the corner of the restaurant we confirmed our orders and got some drinks sorted out.
Main Course – Fish and Chips
With Christmas having passed only a matter of days ago it was decided to give the starters a miss and head straight for mains! I, along with several others opted for The Garage Fish and Chips (£14.50) which included Cajun Crusted Mahi Mahi, Edamame Beans, Chunky Chips, Cane Sugar Charred Lime and Garlic, Lemon & Saffron Aïoli.
The plate was really well presented, smelled fantastic and was a great portion size:
The interesting serving of chips did remind me a little of playing Jenga…!
It made a really nice change having Edamame beans too as just about every restaurant will serve this meal with garden peas which can get a little boring.
I thought the main tasted excellent and it was cooked to perfection. The chips certainly couldn’t have been any better. My only uncertainty on the meal was the Garlic, Lemon & Saffron Aïoli – this is something I’ve not had previously and although I ate it with my fish, myself and a few other members of the party didn’t enjoy the flavour too much.
Dessert – Chocolate Slice
With the mains sorted we took a look at the desert menu and made our orders. As if I haven’t eaten enough chocolate over Christmas already I still opted for a Chocolate Slice with toasted marshmallows and mint syrup (£6.00). This both looked great and tasted great!
My overall impression of not only the food I was served but the various other meals around the table was very high. Every meal was presented extremely well and looked incredibly appetising. We didn’t have starters however I’m in no doubt that they would have looked and tasted as good as the mains and deserts. The Garage has taken some standard British food and added a personal touch to it which was great so fish and chips offered something a little more special. Similarly with my dessert the mint sauce and toasted marshmallow accompaniment was a nice touch.
I couldn’t find a single fault in the quality of my meal – the only exception for me being the fish and chips sauce but that’s certainly down to personal preference.
For a large group coming into a small restaurant we were treated really well. Pre-booking the main course meant the service was very fast and all of the food arrived hot to the table at the same time despite there being 12 of us. Our waitress was also friendly and efficient with taking our drinks and desserts orders.
What was also nice was that the restaurant wasn’t too noisy. With high ceilings and numerous flat wooden surfaces, restaurants can often become unbearable as more people dine and the noise reverberates around the room. The Garage wasn’t like this however and had a good mix of 60’s to 00’s music playing quietly in the background – my personal favourite being the various Beatles tracks!
Overall Experience at The Garage
As someone who has been dining in and around Milton Keynes more and more frequently over the past few months, my experience at The Garage was superb. Being a small restaurant, tucked away in Buckingham it was a great place to go and celebrate a birthday with friends. The restaurant was warm, welcoming, clean and offered excellent food and service.
This is possibly the best place I’ve been for dinner in the UK in the past 6 months and I’ll be recommending it to family and friends for their next meal. I too will be heading back soon.
9/10 – Thanks a great time, superb!
Some useful links
- Visit The Garage website
- View the evening menu
- Bookings – firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01280 832300