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Review: Yvonne gets her ticker in a Twist at this chic Preston City Centre bistro

Posted on - 19th August, 2023 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, City Centre, Food & Drink, Opinion, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Restaurants in Preston, What's On in Preston
Twist steak sandwich and chips with salad
£8 – bargain!

Yvonne’s back! My 77-year-old mother who usually accompanies me on my reviews has been in hospital with a dickie ticker but now she’s out and vibrating with excitement once again about the opportunity to smash up the food with her fork before I have a chance to photograph it, tell busy servers from overseas about what she ate when she visited their hometowns 30 years ago, and insist that she doesn’t want a dessert before eating mine.

I’m thrilled to have Yvonne back, mainly because every time we visited her in hospital she’d suddenly get really faint and dramatically nod off so we’d leave after a few minutes, which was very concerning until we realised that it was always when the Tour De France was about to start and she just wanted us to do one so she could watch it in peace.

This week she, my daughter Ground Zero and I decided to celebrate her release with a visit to Twist on a Friday lunchtime.

It’s a dinky bistro at the Fishergate end of Guildhall Street, that describes itself as ‘fine dining with a twist’ at the weekends, but has recently started opening for brunch with a smaller, cheaper menu.

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It can be difficult to find an eatery with a menu carrying at least one thing per generation of Gormley women that we’d be happy to eat, as we have to consider the one with rampant heartburn, the one who resents blowing her day’s calorie allowance on something that turns out to be rubbish, (Fleece 2019: still unforgiven) and the one who will only eat a specific food at a specific time of the day with absolutely no deviations EVER.

Fortunately, Twist’s brunch menu had something that appealed to everyone, so it was a remarkably easy decision.

Yvonne went for huevos rancheros at £7, which was two fried eggs on toasted tortilla, topped with salsa, refried beans, guacamole and cheese.

Twist huevos rancheros
Perfection or Yark?

I’m a bit squeamish where eggs are concerned, so if I fail to block out the knowledge of it having fallen out of a chicken’s conch – or whatever that thing they have is called – they get nudged into ‘Ew’ territory and I can’t eat them. Runny yolks are alright but any runny white catapults eggs into the disturbing realm of ‘Yark’, populated by such cringy, quease-inducing horrors as Turkish Delight, mushrooms, salted peanuts, Pernod and blackcurrant, and a 54-year-old man on Tinder with a waxed moustache who described himself as a ‘bad boy’.

The whites of the eggs were runny enough to rule them out for me, but Yvonne was unfazed so I just tried not to look at the wobble. Personal egg preference aside, the presentation and portion size were both spot on, with everything looking and tasting fresh and homemade. The salsa had a hearty application of garlic and chilli, and the lemony guacamole also packed a punch.

I had the £8 steak melt, which featured minute steak with caramelised onion and mature cheddar. The kitchen obliged when I asked for the cheese on my steak sandwich to be swapped for rocket leaves and balsamic vinegar, although there wasn’t a choice of how the minute steak was done.

Twist steak sandwich and chips with salad
Like a baby Wookie, the steak was a little Chewy

The generous piece of steak was served on an equally generous chunk of ciabatta, with portions of salad and chips on the side that were enough without being overfacing. There wasn’t as much flavour to it as could be expected, and it was a touch dry and chewy, so might have been better cooked for a little less time, or finished with some seasoned butter.

Ground Zero had the French toast, which was vanilla brioche topped with warm chocolate, fresh berries, and crushed meringues for £6.

Twist French toast
Fruit and eggs means it’s healthy

That dish also looked appealing, with the vanilla brioche creating a sweet, custard-like taste and texture similar to that of a bread and butter pudding. It would have been 100 per cent perfection if there had been a bit of crunch to the French toast, but 99 per cent perfection was still highly impressive.

Although the fresh raspberries and chocolate sauce weren’t overpowering, the richness of the French toast got the better of Ground Zero so Yvonne happily finished it off, as well as all of her huevos rancheros and half of my steak sandwich, which was reassuring and alarming in equal measure.

The decor in Twist was understated modern and the casually clothed waiting staff were friendly and polite whilst being absolutely on the ball, creating a welcoming atmosphere without the unnecessary snobbishness that can be cultured by other upmarket eateries.

The value of such high quality meals was excellent, especially when compared to the chain pubs that serve frozen, bulk-produced, deep fried junk for the same prices or more.

The few extremely minor points mentioned above could be avoided by asking the customer how well cooked they’d like their eggs or steak, so wouldn’t deter me from visiting again. That aside, the quality of the ingredients, the service, the decor and the careful combinations of flavours put Twist in the top echelon of the best places for lunch in Preston City Centre.

Has one of your relatives pretended to die just to get rid of you so they can watch some blokes in Lycra cycling through beautiful scenery and occasionally wazzing down their own legs? Shame them in the comments.

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