If, like me, you’ve never ventured inside the Victoria Gate Casino, you might not be aware of its ‘V’ restaurant. The restaurant is nestled inside the casino with a view of the gambling tables and slot machines, so even if you’re just there to eat, you can still feel the excitement and buzz of the games. This year the Casino is offering a three-course meal to its Christmas guests and we went down to give it a try.
On arrival, we received a glass of prosecco (there’s also an option of a bottle of Budweiser) to get the Christmas spirit rolling. The restaurant is intimate, with low lighting, perfect for those group shots after you’ve had a few cocktails. The Christmas cocktails are probably one of the strong points of the menu. My personal favourite was the rhubarb liqueur with elderflower, apple juice and cinnamon. The creamy topping combined perfectly with the tart flavour of the apple and elderflower. Another one to look out for is the crème de cassis, sloe gin and prosecco cocktail served in an elegant flute with a sprig of rosemary forming an exquisite miniature Christmas tree design. It is definitely one to impress on any Instagram!
Each course offers four options and the starters were: chicken liver pate, prawn cocktail, baked camembert or a winter vegetable soup. Our table was served the camembert and the soup. The camembert, accompanied by rustic bread, was a tasty turn on a classic dish. The soup was a nice winter warmer, served with a warm rustic roll – a good light starter if you want to save room for a main.
When it comes to the mains, if you’re looking for a traditional Christmas option, you’ll want to opt for the roast turkey roulade served with stuffing, pigs in blankets and a cranberry red wine jus. This dish ticked all the Christmas boxes and the turkey was tender. For a quirkier take on a Christmas classic, the restaurant serves a Christmas dinner skewer. It is exactly what it sounds like; turkey, potatoes, stuffing, carrots, parsnips and Brussels – all served on a kebab skewer. While I found the vegetables to be tastier in a roasted form, the turkey was a bit tough on the skewer.
The fish dish is a salmon fillet topped with a honey glaze. I have to say this was my least favourite main as the salmon was overcooked and a little dry. On the other hand, the vegetarian dish, a mushroom and brie wellington, was a highlight of the menu – creamy and flavoursome, so there’s no reason for any veggies to miss out. All the mains were served with parsnips, potatoes, carrots and Brussels sprouts. Apart from the sprouts (which were overdone), the vegetable selection was otherwise fine. The portion sizes are generous but we still managed to find room for dessert.
The restaurant offers a wide range of desserts to tempt any palate. My favourite was the chocolate and orange torte, which tasted a bit like a Terry’s Chocolate orange – moist but not overly rich. The lemon and raspberry posset was also pleasing – and was accompanied with a raspberry sauce to balance out the tangy taste of the lemon.
All Christmas diners are offered a five-pound free bet in the casino. I played mine on the roulette table and promptly lost it all on the first round but it was an exciting way to end the evening. More experienced (or lucky) players could find themselves taking home an extra bit of cash for their Christmas shopping.
Although some of the food could do with a little improvement, I enjoyed my meal and would recommend it for a casual family or office Christmas celebration.
Gluten free and vegan options are available on request. To book your Christmas meal, email email@example.com.
Esther is a contributor for Leeds Living, covering events all across the City, on topics such as eat/drink, retail therapy and culture.