GAINSBOROUGH’S riverside is a strange place – a stretch of land that’s both historic but tragically underused and brimming with untapped potential.
Talk of that proposed £6 million footbridge to Beckingham sparked off a lot of discussion about our riverside becoming something like the Brayford Pool in Lincoln – a buzzing focal point for leisure and nightlife, complete with cafes, bars, restaurants and maybe even a marina.
That would be a joy to see in place of the crumbling and empty old factories, warehouses and empty space.
In the meantime, one establishment already seems to have the right idea.
From Lea Road, The Maltings bar and restaurant looks a bit drab and grim. However, as soon as you head around the back to see the wonderful balcony over the river and step through it’s doors to see a chic and contemporary decor, you realise that there’s a lot more to The Maltings that meets the eye.
The other thing that struck me about this place was the warm and welcoming service. At the bar I was immediately greeted with a smile, a friendly word and an attentive ear.
The Maltings is also famous for its stone grill menu, which offers diners a remarkable interactive dining experience where meals are served cooking at the table on super-heated natural volcanic rock grills.
On this menu, you’ll find every kind of steak you could wish for – from 8 oz fillet and 16 oz rump to a large gammon steak, duck breast and a staggering 24 oz mixed grill.
I opted for the fillet steak while my friend went for the 8 oz rump.
Our meals were served with chunky chips, onions, mushrooms and an unusual but delightful summery salad which bravely put strawberries, orange segments, grapes and blueberries alongside lettuce, tomato and cucumber – to a great, refreshing effect.
Our steaks were simply incredibly – meaty, wholesome cuts of meat that we could cook ourselves to our own taste. What more could you ask for?
Parking at The Maltings however, is a bit of a nightmare, so I’d strongly recommend leaving your car elsewhere or walking in, as cars blocking one another in appeared to be commonplace.
Other than that, The Maltings is a shining beacon of great value, style and quality on the waterfront. Fingers crossed that the great food, service and slice of lifestyle that they have to offer is just a taster of things to come by the river.
By Andrew Trendell
Star Rating HHHH