Baked beans no longer cut the mustard so head in store to Restaurant on 3 in Bentalls, Kingston where food comes gift wrapped
The world of in-store catering has come a long way since I first sampled the delights of an (unnamed) department store while on a shopping spree with my parents way back in the late Seventies or early Eighties. Back then service tended to be canteen style with big steel containers of baked beans, cheap sausages and fish fingers – there was a touch of school dinners about it. And although I remember it affectionately (paper plates decorated with lions and tigers seems to stick in the mind) it was certainly no gastro feast.
But things have change in the world of retail, and a dish of fish fingers and baked beans no longer cuts the mustard with today’s sophisticated shoppers. Fortunately, Bentalls has risen to this rise in expectations and with its new eatery, Restaurant on 3, is delivering the sort of quality food experience that shoppers in the 1970s could only dream of.
Located on the third floor (hence the name) and with views over the Bentall Centre atrium, the 150-seater restaurant is designed to appeal to everyone from teens, to families to pensioners and is carefully laid out and decorated in muted greys with cool signage in modern typography.
It’s clean, stylish and fresh, much like the varied menu, which caters for as wide a customer base as possible. There’s a pizza bar serving stone baked pizzas that are cooked to order, along with a fresh pasta section, and a large salad bar which at £3.95 for a small salad is incredibly reasonable.
The main counter serves up a wide variety of dishes including roasts (served with the biggest Yorkshire puddings I’ve seen) and hot sandwiches. We went for a hot beef sandwich with salad, along with pizza, and to start a bowl of vegetable soup. It was exactly what you’d expect from a restaurant located in Bentalls – quality tasty produce, well cooked and presented and served by knowledgeable friendly staff.
Other nice touches include a deli sandwich section with toasted sandwiches; a kids cafe with plenty of room to play, a TV screen and fresh water and baby food warming facility; a baked potato counter; a superb pastry and cakes section; and finally a coffee and smoothie bar.
In short, it covers all the bases, is reasonably priced and for the avid shopper means you’re onsite and ready to pick up from where you left off.
Restaurant on 3, Bentalls, Wood Street, Kingston, KT1 1TX