Sunday 19 May 2019

Chez Mal Brasserie Cheltenham review: A refurbishment worth waiting for

Following a long-awaited refurbishment, Malmaison Cheltenham’s Chez Mal Brasserie didn’t disappoint, combining its stylish new décor with three deliciously prepared courses

The experience

Chez Mal Brasserie following its 2019 refurbishment

As I nosed the glass of wine in front of me and took a sip, it occurred to me how proud my 19-year-old self would have been. I still remember my first ‘nice’ restaurant experience with my then-boyfriend (now Husband) as I became completely perplexed over the order in which to use the cutlery, and why only the tiniest drop of wine had been poured into my glass! 11 years down the line and a few lovely restaurants later, I’m a bit better versed in dining etiquette, but it still always feels a complete luxury to eat deliciously prepared food in gorgeous surroundings.

I’m delighted to say that my recent visit to the newly refurbished Chez Mal Brasserie was one of those experiences. Until the end of 2018, the restaurant inside Malmaison Cheltenham had maintained its classic leather seating and green metro tiling, in place since its reign as The Montpellier Chapter.

While the décor didn’t really fit with Malmaison’s quirky yet luxurious brand back then, it certainly does now. The extended kitchen area is now adorned with a grey Mondrian-inspired feature wall; Marble table tops cover the plush purple and grey velour seating; and large artworks featuring unusual themes from wild flowers through to arctic lorries bedeck the walls.


The food

Chez Mal Brasserie following its 2019 refurbishment

To start I opted for eggs muerette, featuring poached eggs, pancetta, mushroom, silverskin onion and toasted sourdough. A generously sized portion, the meal is best described as brunch in a bowl. My friend chose the winter salad, combining fried halloumi with shaved fennel, pomegranate, roasted squash and sourdough croutons. Both were deliciously seasoned, with the winter salad being a perfect mix of salty and sweet.

Chez Mal Brasserie following its 2019 refurbishment

For the main I selected the signature Cotes du Boeuf steak served medium-rare. It was advised that I order a few sides to accompany this mammoth piece of steak, and Chez Mal’s helpful staff recommended the truffle and parmesan fries and the glazed carrots and parsnips. My friend, a vegetarian, chose the spiced falafel burger with grilled Romano peppers, Harissa mayonnaise and fries. She said the mayo was incredible, working perfectly with the spiced falafel; and also chuckled at the cheeky dish the chips were served in, emblazoned with the phrase ‘for your fries only.’

Despite the menu stating the steak dish was a 450g cut, I hadn’t quite considered how enormous it would be once presented in front of me. This behemoth of a dish was beautifully salted, incredibly tender and cooked to perfection, with each melt-in-the-mouth forkful leading to audible satisfaction from my side of table!

Chez Mal Brasserie following its 2019 refurbishment

To end our feast we shared the Valhrona dark chocolate mousse with honeycomb, cocoa nib tuile and crème fraiche. This dessert was incredible value for money at £6.50, being the ideal size for two to share, due to its rich and intense chocolate flavours, it perfectly provided the sweetness I craved after a meaty main.


Customer service

Chez Mal Brasserie following its 2019 refurbishment

While the restaurant’s manager Isabella advised that service had been slightly slower while the kitchen and waiting team worked through teething troubles in their new environment, we didn’t notice a particularly long wait between courses, despite a couple of large groups also being present during the night of our visit.

Customer service was exquisite from our server Lidia, who maintained the perfect blend of welcoming humour and professionalism, ensuring that we relaxed into an enjoyable evening.


SoGlos loves

While there are a number of vegetarian options in the main a la carte menu, Malmaison also offers a completely vegan menu, including a number of its popular dishes and desserts, recreated with vegan ingredients.

Visiting on this occasion with a vegetarian, we remarked how great it was to see a dedicated vegan menu, giving so much more choice to both vegetarians and vegans.


Book now

For more information, see Chez Mal Brasserie, call (01242) 370655 or visit malmaison.com directly.


By Melissa Hamblett

© SoGlos
Tuesday 05 March 2019

More reviews you might like...

Cheers! The SoGlos team an enlightening afternoon enjoying delicious English wine at Woodchester Valley Vineyard.

Woodchester Valley Vineyard Wine Tasting review: An enlightening afternoon enjoying delicious English wine

Combining incredible views with deliciously crafted fine Gloucestershire wine, a trip to Woodchester Valley Vineyard is an...

SoGlos reviews Rain Man at Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre.

Rain Man at Everyman Theatre review: The classic film brought to the stage

Telling the critically acclaimed tale of an autistic savant and his money-grabbing brother, Rain Man has been retold for the...

Avenue Q is a feel-good musical that will have you roaring with laughter… even if you really shouldn’t!

Avenue Q at Everyman Theatre review: Your new favourite musical

Combining controversial themes like racism and a questionable internet history, Avenue Q is the perfect musical for people...

SoGlos headed to Cheltenham Pilates & Yoga to see whether it’s worth a visit.

Cheltenham Pilates & Yoga review: a serene space to stretch away the day

Warm, inviting and surprisingly chic, Cheltenham Pilates & Yoga studios were every bit the stylish, hip space you’d expect...

SoGlos went to try out Creams Café in Cheltenham.

Creams Café review: An experience to take you back to your childhood

Smelling sweet of nostalgia, the SoGlos team headed to Creams Café in the Brewery Quarter. Filled with giddy excitement just...

Unmissable highlights