REVIEW: A Foodie delight at the Fuel Tank Brasserie
Working amongst the hustle and bustle of the city leaves you with a yearning desire to escape to the countryside, every now and then, to appreciate our picture-perfect landscapes and the crisp, clean air.
As I sat at my desk, glancing at my ever-growing to-do list and emails, it’s almost like a silent prayer had been answered when an invitation to dine at the newly-launched Fuel Tank Brasserie at Belvoir Castle’s Engine Yard landed in my inbox, writes DLUXE’s Francesca Arculeo.
Set in the heart of the Vale of Belvoir and part of the Belvoir Castle estate, the cluster of 19th century buildings were transformed in 2018 to create the Engine Yard and house luxury retail stores and dining destinations. It’s the destination everyone’s talking about – especially other stately homes!
We’re blessed with sun-soaked views and lush Leicestershire countryside as we head to the Engine Yards’ newest arrival. The ground floor of the Fuel Tank is home to a rustic, more informal café which is perfect for a light bite, but that’s for another day. The upstairs – the bit we’re here to enjoy this evening – has been elegantly decorated with colourful florals and botanical plants to create a luxury fine dining setting. It’s a cosy and airy space with a high ceiling and large feature windows that let the rays shine in.
To quench our thirst and set us up for the evening, I chose to sip on a classic Margarita while my guests chose a Tanqueray Seville Gin Highball and a draft Pravha beer, all delightfully refreshing.
Boasting a classic Brasserie menu showcasing local and seasonal produce, there was plenty that took our fancy. To start, I chose the vegetarian option of the Pimento & Parmesan Arancini, Pesto Aioli, Rocket. Perfectly seasoned and generously sized, they were nice and light and the aioli gave a sharp but not overpowering kick. My guest chose the Fuel Tank Chicken Liver & Chorizo Pate, Dukes Relish & Toasted Focaccia, which was rustically presented. The pate was smooth and packed full of flavour and the relish packed a sublime tangy punch. My other guest was drawn in by the Black Pudding Croquette, which they reported were delicious and that the accompanying curried leeks and apple were a delightful and unusual surprise that provided a sharp and sweet pairing.
Next up were the mains: I chose the Mediterranean Haddock Papillote, steamed beautifully in the parchment paper with peppers, onions and capers. It was a dish that was reminiscent of those you enjoy by the sea on your holiday. My guest chose the Grand Chicken Caesar salad, which was sprinkled with salty anchovies, garlic croutons and parmesan shavings. It was a classic dish but that makes it harder to make perfect and there was definitely a certain ‘Je ne sais quoi’ that was missing here. Lastly, the Blade of Beef, sprinkled with forest mushrooms and drizzled in a merlot jus. Served up with oxtail croquette and dauphinoise potatoes, this dish was delivered slightly on the dry side, which was a shame. We’d been won over by the starters, but the mains didn’t quite hit that same spot. We’ll put this down to it being a newly introduced menu and chef, so it is likely to still be a work-in-progress.
Closing the night, although feeling a little full, we were drawn in by the dessert menu with choices including Millionaire Caramel Chocolate Layer Cake and Burnt Basque Baked Cheesecake. We opted for ones slightly lighter: a Tart Au Citron and a Summer Fruit Crumble, both equally tasty and light with the sharpness of the seasonal fruit pleasing the tongue.
For first experiences, it’s one we’ll be sure to remember and one we’ll keep in mind as a destination to wine and dine friends. The staff were friendly and attentive, and the hospitality and setting were inviting. The price point is a little more on the higher end, which we can understand for the location and the ingredients, but it makes this a place to go for a special occasion rather than a casual affair, unless you’re really trying to impress.
The Fuel Tank Brasserie is open Thursday – Friday and located at Engine Yard at Belvoir Castle, NG32 1PA which is close to the A1, a 10-minute drive from the A52 and around 40-50 minutes from Leicester.
*AD – this meal was gifted in return for an honest review. We did pay the supplement for the additional guest.