Words & Photos: Yours truly
So this came as a bit of a random opportunity but a few weeks ago, I was invited to the launch night at Juniper’s new restaurant in Hale… and to be completely honest, I wasn’t too impressed with my experience then – with both their food and their service – but I put that down to a number of factors: 1) perhaps a new team of staff; 2) maybe a new menu; 3) possibly the number of attendees; and 4) definitely the rush.
Not long after the launch, I decided to give it another try (largely because we were gifted vouchers to spend on another meal) and I was pleasantly surprised – so let me walk you through why…
The vibe : 7/10
On our return visit, the manager very kindly reserved a window table for us (they don’t usually take reservations, but you just can’t beat good natural lighting so we insisted on a ‘bright’ table) at 10 in the morning as we thought it’d be nice, and quiet, and chilled – but how wrong were we! The restaurant was already half filled by the time we arrived at 10am sharp, but it added to the atmosphere and I do enjoy a little background chatter, so we weren’t complaining.
The service : 9/10
As I said, the service on the launch night was a little rushed, which I could understand. On our second visit though, we received very warm hospitality from both the manager and the staff – couldn’t fault them. Everyone had a smile on their face at all times, and that’s all I ask when I go out for a meal (at least from the front-of-house staff).
The food : 8/10
First of all, the veggie selection at Juniper is quite extensive – almost every breakfast dish can be made meat-free, so that in itself deserves some credit. I was torn between the veggie breakfast and the avocado toast; the idea of homemade veggie sausages was really tempting but I’ve had bad experiences with those before so I went for the latter. Basic, I know, but sometimes that’s what you need: simplicity that’s done well, with good quality ingredients – which is exactly what I got.
It’s so easy to go wrong with smashed avo, you can so easily tell if the fruit is fresh just by looking at it – and it was most definitely fresh. Every element on the plate was well-prepared; the poached egg was cooked to perfection; the halloumi was nice and crispy – I was satisfied.
Again, my first taste of Juniper Hale wasn’t impressive by any stretch of the imagination, but everything on my latest visit just won me over. If you’re ever in the area, I’d highly recommend that you go and check it out… if you’re lucky enough to get a table!
I hope you enjoyed my little #FoodieFriday write-up. It’s been a while since I did one of these, and I’d definitely like to try and make more of an effort to blog more about food – so comment below if you want more foodie recommendations from yours truly! Until next time!
You can read more about Juniper and find their menu here.