RESTAURANT REVIEW: The Guild Hall's new leisure complex seems Levels above its fast food rivals
Whether it's the soon-to-be grand opening of the state-of-the-art Preston Market Hall, or the looming plans to install the city's avant-garde first tram network, a lot of exciting things are happening in Preston at the moment.
At Preston’s Guild Hall, owner Simon Rigby has invested heavily in a contemporary three-storey entertainment complex, branded Level, bringing the likes of mini golf, darts, and bowling to the city centre and all under one roof.
It is something this reporter was mightily impressed with when giving his two cents on it after being invited to the press preview last December.
As part of the project, the well-liked tapas restaurant Mundo Tapas was re-located from the main Guild Hall to the complex in the hall’s rear, in doing so being re-branded as Mundo Street Kitchen.
The new restaurant has mixed up the menu, bringing in the likes of burgers, fajitas, steaks, and hot dogs, as well as retaining smaller tapas-style plates.
The first thing I noticed at Mundo Street Kitchen was the loud music. My fiancée and I almost had to shout at each other sat a metre away from each other.
This wasn’t ideal after a long day, but then again, it’s not the place to go if you want a quiet sit down meal to chat about what you’ve both been up to.
There was no starter menu but we ordered spiced calamari (£5.75) and tempura prawns (£6.75) as a pre-meal tapas-style dishes, both of which went down really well, especially the prawns, which were oozing with flavour.
With there being no starter menu, the two seafood dishes arrived at the same time as our mains – a classic half-pounder burger with cheese and bacon (£10 plus £4.50 for the extra toppings) and fajitas (£11) – which, while not overwhelming for a man with my appetite, was a lot of food to be brought at once.
A little issue we had was with the sides. We ordered the ‘dirty fries’ (£3) with the burger, only to see the burger come with a side of chips, something the menu didn’t mention.
As for the fajitas – wow. I love homemade Mexican food so I am always a little hesitant to order dishes when eating out, as they rarely seem to be as good, but these were packed with brilliant flavours.
The wraps came with a chicken filling along with sliced peppers, caramelised red onions, cheese, salsa, sour cream, and – the most important bit – guacamole.
The portion size was extremely generous and I ended up leaving some, not because it wasn’t nice, but because I might have popped otherwise. For just over 10 quid it was superb value.
The dirty fries we ordered – which were covered in paprika, cheese, and jalapeños – were definitely complimentary.
The burger was “dead tasty”, says my other half, which for the woman from Wigan means very good (I think!). The bacon was proper back bacon and not the streaky stuff other restaurants we have been to have served.
Beer was a little dear. I’ve no gripe paying £4.90 for a pint of Peroni, but £4 for a pint of Budweiser felt a little steep.
Staff were really pleasant. Our waiter returned many times to ask if everything was okay and if we wanted more drinks.
Service was a little slow when paying, but we could see that the same waiter was a little stretched having to deal with the parties playing bowling, so there were no real complaints.
Mundo Street Kitchen and all elements of Level are full of buzz and excitement – something that will flourish on weekends during big sporting events, with its vast array of screens showing live sport.
It will also be an ideal spot for those coming to the Guild Hall for a show.
Last December, owner Simon Rigby told this reporter that Level now makes the Guild Hall a city centre location to “make a day out of it” instead of turning up to see a show and then going home afterwards.
The restaurant seamlessly slots in to this mantra, and is ideal for those wanting a chilled time with a few tasty sides, a burger, or fajita or two alongside an ice cold pint.