After sleeping in, touring the town by car, then strolling the Promenade, we looked forward to dinner out with another family. 288 bar & wok did not disappoint.
288 bar & wok
288 High Street, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 3HQ
Nice bar near the front, long gallery style tables for seating, and a clean modern look with groovy red walls and a window in to the kitchen. No outside seating. The place was nearly empty when we walked in just past 6 on a Saturday night, but was buzzing by the time we left a bit before 8.
The menus flip over to a kid activity, there are interesting large pickling jars full of crayons, the kids enjoyed sitting on the galley benches, and who doesn’t enjoy learning to use chopsticks? I didn’t see special kids meals, but any adult dish could be ordered in a slightly smaller child portion, and there’s enough variety to suit even picky eaters.
I made a meal out of two appetizers — the portion sizes are large. The vegetable dumplings were crispy outside and lightly packed inside. The vinegary dipping sauce was not what I had tasted before, but it was tangy and fun. The chicken satay was covered with a richly spiced peanut rub and the three skewers of chicken were in a very generous portion. The cucumber salad with the satay was a bit of a disappointment — just chunks of undressed raw onion and raw cucumber. We also had the chicken noodle — thin noodles wok fried with chicken and sprouts; the chicken rice — a fairly typical fried rice; and a garlic pork — spicy to order. Again I was impressed by the sizes of the portions, the amount and quality of the meat, and the overall flavor of each meal. One of our companions ordered a roast duck with plum sauce, and the ingredients were beautifully fresh and plentiful — when we go back (and we will) that’s what’s next for me.
Because the portion sizes are so large, it feels like good value for an entree, and all entrees come in under 10 pound each. The budget conscious could easily make a meal out of an appetizer or two and a pot of jasmin tea, and a family dinning out won’t feel in the way or too loud for the room.
Go try it out if you haven’t yet — I might see you there.