Given how many people read our taste test at Sai Surbhi the other week, heading out for more food over Christmas seemed like as good a plan as any.Advertisement
Plus, there was the Blog Preston Christmas Party coming up and we had to line our stomach with something, didn’t we?
Given that we were off to The Guild Ale House later on, eating at The Villa inside The Guild Hall made perfect sense. So that’s what we did.
We’re shown to our table quickly and the restaurant is a little quiet. In their defence, it is Thursday, December 22 and everyone is likely saving whatever plans they have for the next night.
For anyone not aware, this is a sister restaurant of a popular Italian by the same name. Often, the second restaurant struggles to compete with the original. I’ve not tried the Kirkham restaurant so I go into this review without that influence.
We start with a tomato garlic bread (£4.20) as something I was confident we could both tuck into. In hindsight, I do wish I had gone for some arancini too but we live and learn.
It was crisp in the right places without even approaching being overcooked and was generously covered in sauce. Ed and I tore through it with the sort of haste you’d expect if you’re eating a starter and have used the word ‘starving’.
For main I go for Rigatoni Con Polpette (£10.50) which is lamb and beef meatballs with garlic and chilli. It’s at this point that I’m reminded how much I hate ordered dishes that aren’t written in English. The Preston accent just doesn’t allow for it.
That digression aside, there’s nothing more I could’ve asked for from the dish. A little more chilli would be preferable but that’s down to taste. The meatballs are tasty and plentiful and I’m not left wishing I had more on my plate which is a real annoyance of mine. There’s also just enough garlic to leave an impression without me heading for the chewing gum.
Ed, being the expert of Italian cuisine that he is, decides to go for the burger (£11.95). Who goes to an Italian restaurant and orders a burger? Anyway, his first observation is that it isn’t served on a plate – though he also notes that there’s no actual practical issues with the tray it comes served on.
He’s reasonably impressed with the quality of the meat and the taste overall. It’s fine if you’re taking someone along and they don’t want pasta or pizza but, typically, if we were both having burgers then we’d probably head over to The Ferret instead. That’s not necessarily a slight on The Villa, though, as it was perfectly fine. It’s not what they excel at.
Overall impressions are positive. The bill comes to around £50 – though that does include the cost of four pints of Peroni (£4.95) each. It impresses enough that I’ll be coming back and recommending to friends – though I do want to try the one in Kirkham to see how it compares.
Our food reviewers pay for themselves and aren’t invited by the venue, if we are we will always say in the review.