Taste Test: The Architect, Chester Tel: 01244 353070

The scores

Ambience 10/10

Service 10/10

Food quality 9/10

Children welcome – yes

Disabled access – wheelchair access possible with care

The bill

2 mixed roasts: £14.95 each

Roast beef: £13.95

Steak burger: £12.95

Shoulder of lamb: £17.75

Smoked haddock fishcake: £9.95

Chicken goujons: £6.50

2 Creme Brûlée: £5.50 each

2 x 3 scoop sorbets: £5.25 each

Sticky toffee pudding: £5.95

Hot waffle: £5.95 

South African False Bay Chardonnay: £19.95

Aragon Tinto Rioja: £19.95

Total for seven, including other soft drinks: £174.95

My sister had flown in from California, a welcome visit back home, and one thing she had been looking forward to was a traditional Sunday lunch. A British Sunday lunch is something that cannot be replaced by prime steaks, burgers and barbecues. She was here for one Sunday so I had to get the restaurant right.

After some deliberation, three generations headed down to a favourite of mine – The Architect, Nicholas Street, Chester.

Unusually for our family, very rare indeed, we arrived half an hour early for our reservation, but no problem, our table for seven was quickly prepared.

The Sunday menu has something for everyone, a choice of about 20 main courses and other light bite options.

I knew immediately what my sister would choose – the mixed rare beef and pork Sunday roast could not be overlooked. In solidarity and brotherhood I joined her in that selection. When it arrived it was simply mountainous – if you plan to have this do not have breakfast!

We climbed the mountain, the beef scrummy, the pork succulent and it was supported by all the trimmings. I couldn’t believe how excited my sister was when she stumbled across a roast parsnip. Oh, if only the crackling had crackled it would have been so perfect.

My partner had gone for a delightful looking smoked haddock fishcake which looked delicious topped with a poached egg in a sea of tartar sauce. She finished first and I felt it probably needed a side to give it Sunday status.

My 89-year-old mother was insistent she was going to have fish and chips but surprised us all by ordering the steak burger when the waitress took the order and even though she has the appetite of a mouse, the few bites she got through she declared delicious. Praise indeed.

My 17-year-old daughter was delighted with braised shoulder of lamb which she said fell off the bone, while her boyfriend couldn’t have been happier with his roast beef. The youngest of our group thought the children’s portion of chicken goujons a real treat served up with some fantastic looking chips.

How we found room for puddings I don’t know, but we did and even my mother left her creme brûlée bowl clean.

The whole afternoon was a sheer delight, wonderful food, fine wine with attentive and friendly service. A jolly memorable Sunday afternoon which should keep my sister going for a while till the lure of the roast brings her home again.