The Exchange Restaurant at The Hilton
I’m not having much luck with hotels at the moment, and to be honest that is exactly how I expected it. You see, a hotel isn’t just run for the food, the 1001 other considerations that go into its every day operation mean the quality of the meals they serve can be really hampered. Add into this the chain restaurant ethos that most large hotels foster and you are generally going to receive something average at best, at least whilst in Liverpool. So when I sat down at The Exchange in the Hilton, the menu, while not being anything particularly exciting and original, did show signs of promise. Perhaps this was a hotel restaurant worth visiting again?
Unfortunately the food just wasn’t very good, starters were a couple of over seasoned soups and a dry rubbery piece of mackerel that had spent far too long in the pan. The most simple of elements such as seasoning correctly seemed to be missing. To be fair to the Hilton, I complained about my mackerel and they took it off the bill.
My main of pork medallions was indifferent quality meat, and consisted mainly of mash which was over seasoned, the pork itself was dry and quite small. An oven baked coley was again over done, perhaps an issue with fish cookery here, and the rosti it came with was too salty.The accompanying seasonal veg were peas, french beans and courgettes, a bit early in the season for them, I was expecting asparagus. However a pan fried sea bass dish was well cooked and the accompanying vegetables were nice.
Puddings were easily the best course, a smooth and creamy panacotta with two delightful little macaroons on the side, it was really lovely. A chocolate and amaretto tart was more like a delice, deep rich and smooth, another great pud. It appears that their pastry chef is the one with real talent.
The Hilton promises more than some other hotels in Liverpool, it certainly appears that their classic British themed menu has had some care and attention put into it. However, the realisation of the dishes fell short of the mark, over cooked fish and meat, with a heavy hand on the seasoning. The prices are a little high as well, £13 for a main is ok but starters as high as £8, puddings pushing £7 and small glasses of wine for £6, it’s easy to rack up quite a large bill.
The Hilton had some good points, a decent looking menu and some lovely puddings, but on our visit the resulting food didn’t match up to desired outcomes. I’m not sure that with a number of good local restaurants close by The Exchange should be near the top of your list of places to eat.