“ Address: Motherwell United Services Club Ltd / 32 Mabel St / Motherwell „
Review originally written for Ciao 15/03/13
Earlier this week, I was out and about when my Mum phoned. She asked if I fancied going for a bite to eat with her, my sister and nephew. I hadn't had my lunch yet so decided I may as well go. What I didn't know is that Mum had chosen the United Services Club for lunch. Don't get me wrong, it is a nice place but I associate it as a place to hold post-funeral type events and it wouldn't be my first choice of venue for a meal. We often went when I was a child and I have attented a post-funeral event and a birthday party in the club.
~United Services Club~
32 Mabel Street
0843 273 2966
The United Services Club is located a short walk from the main shopping area of Motherwell. It can be found in a residential area and seems to be a popular venue for various events. The outside of the building isn't anything special - it is white and clean looking. There is a smoking shelter. There are three function areas within the club and they all lead off from the lobby (where there are toilets and amusement machines). In general, the club is clean and tidy but not very modern in areas. It is disabled and pram friendly throughout.
The United Services serve food through the day and offer a carvery on a Sunday. They cater for parties and funerals and have sufficient space for different sized parties. They are able to put on buffet spreads (sausage rolls, pizza, sandwiches etc) and also offer a range of sausage rolls and cakes for funerals. There is a well stocked bar but I wouldn't personally go here for a drink, it does seem popular with older men. The toilets are very modern and clean.
I have experience of the main eating room which includes booth seating and extra tables on the dance floor area. For functions, this room is changed to fit in the buffet etc. The food is cooked in the attatched kitchen. I have attented a party in here. One of the other function halls is quite a bit bigger and features a dance floor and stage. I have attended a post-funeral function in here and found this room to be quite dull. There are singing performances and other shows in the club.
~Food On Offer~
The club offers a set lunch menu daily. I believe it was around £7.00 for three courses. It is a typical 'pub grub' type menu with nothing particularly outstanding or adventurous.
*Starters included potato wedges, prawn cocktail, soup, fruit juice and also pate.
*Main courses included steak pie, roast of the day, macaroni cheese, fish and chips, gourjons etc
*Desserts include apple crumble, meringue surprise, ice cream etc
There is also a light bites menu which includes sandwiches and baked potatoes. Children can have a smaller portion of whatever is on the main menu. Vegetarians have very limited choice from the menu.
We phoned ahead to check availability and this proved to be a good choice as the eating area was packed full when we arrived at the club. It seems popular with families, friends catching up and couples. The waitresses did seem to keep up fairly well with it being so busy. They were friendly and as expected, food did take a little longer than normal to be served as it was so busy. We were informed of the dishes of the day on our arrival.
Drinks need to be purchased from the bar which is in a different room from the main dining area. Mum went to buy the drinks and came back with four cans of juice. She was quite impressed at how cheap the drinks were compared to the restaurant we had went to for my birthday. She said it came to £2.80 for the drinks. 70p per can isn't too bad at all compared to most places.
I would say that the menu at the United Services is fine for a bite to eat but a little boring. All food was served piping hot (where applicable) and nicely presented. I ordered potato wedges as my starter and had the choice of different dips - I opted for garlic mayo. My starter was well presented and there was a decent sized portion of wedges and a fresh little salad. I enjoyed my starter and the dip in particular was delicious. My sister and nephew opted for soup (lentil) and received a large bowl and a fresh, warm roll. They enjoyed it and found it to be very filling. Mum ordered prawn cocktail and whilst it was nicely presented, she confirmed that it was a little bland and lacking in flavour.
For my main course, I opted for the roast of the day which was turkey. I received quite a large plate with a selection of sliced turkey, small roast potatoes, some boiled potatoes, carrots, cabbage and gravy. I would describe my meal as being 'average'. There was plenty of it but it was a bit boring if I am being honest. The turkey was thinly sliced and to me, tasted like it came from a packet rather than freshly carved off a turkey joint. The potatoes were nice enough. The veg was cooked well but the gravy wasn't the most flavoursome I have tasted. I love a roast dinner but there was just something missing from this meal! I wouldn't have complained about it as it was cooked properly and there was plenty there but it just didn't push the right buttons for me.
Our family are lovers of steak pie and my Mum, sister and nephew all opted for this meal. The received an ashet of tasty, meaty steak in a nice, rich gravy. The puff pastry was cooked seperately from the steak and simply popped on top at the end. Everyone enjoyed their steak pie despite there being a lack of potatoes and too much veg - the balance just wasn't right. I tried a bit of the puff pastry and found it to be delicious and cooked to perfection. It was even nicer when left to soak up some of the steak gravy. The steak pie was definitely a hit.
I know I shouldn't have but I couldn't resist a dessert. I hadn't finished my main meal so did have a little extra room in the tummy for a dessert. My Mum and I opted for the meringue surprise. I did ask what exactly it was prior to ordering as I don't eat certain things - the surprised was ruined at this point (lol!). I received a bowl with a meringue nest, ice cream, cream, fruit cocktail sprinkles and raspberry sauce. It was a mismatched dessert and something I would likely make at home myself but it was really nice. The meringue was nice and chewy and the ice cream was creamy and didn't taste cheap.
My nephew opted for an ice cream with sauce over the top and enjoyed it. My sister disappeared for a smoke and said to order her apple pie or something similar with cream. I ordered the apple crumble which was served with custard (I forgot to ask for cream). She liked it but was very full from her meal so it was offered to the bin (aka me) and I polished it off. It was delicious. The custard in particular was yummy but I am aware that this is the reason I gained a 1lb at my slimming class this week. I regret nothing!
I did reach for my purse to pay my share but Mum said she was treating us. The United Services Club only accept cash - no credit or debit cards are taken. Mum said that it came to around £25.00 for three 3 course meals and a childrens 3 course meal. I feel that this is a really good price for the amount of food that we had.
Okay, do I recommend The United Services Club? Well yes! It isn't the most exciting place to eat but the food does represent good value for money and for the most part, was quite tasty. It wouldn't be my first (second or third) choice for a meal as I favour other local restaurants to this one but it is nice enough. It is perfectly fine for a cheap meal.
Thanks for reading :)