Looking for a review on Marco Marco at 89 Compstall Road, Marple Bridge, SK6 5HE? You found it – read this BEFORE you book.
I was recently Googling for a restaurant in the Marple area. I happened upon Marco Marco. One of three restaurants owned by the same people (the others being in Lymm and Northwich). “Fine Italian Dining in Cheshire” is what they tout, and having three locations in half decent areas, and Marple Bridge being the newest, led me to believe they must be half right. Boy, was I wrong!
I did some Google due diligence, and I found some bad reviews of their other places. But to be honest, review sites do attract the “Greedy Groupon” crowd who want to eat food by Gordon Ramsay for £9.99, so I took them with a pinch of salt and booked anyway.
The only ’89 Compstall Road’ that existed in my car’s navigation appeared to be in Romiley, and that brought me outside a house – not a restaurant. I asked a woman at a bus stop and she explained that this is a local thing with Compstall Road, as there are two nearby each other (and locals often get the mail for the other one). She directed me a mile or two up the road and I found it. In hindsight, it was an omen I should have recognised and heeded.
Marco Marco is located in what was a pub. There is ample car parking at the back, and plenty of outdoor space that might be pleasant in the summer.
We went in and were directed to a sofa to wait for a table. There were an abundance of tables so this was a pointless exercise really. We were then left alone and not asked about drinks or anything….
I spoke to a girl behind the bar and asked if I order drinks with her or if someone comes. She said she would come and did. But without a wine list……… she had to go back for that. I had the wine list for under a minute and we were being ushered to a table. Not much organisation going on here up to now. It was all a bit amateurish and not smooth as it should have been.
Having been seated, the first thing that hit me was the atmosphere. Muggy and stinking of cooking. It was awful! It felt like the kitchen extractors were extracting into the dining area. It was bad enough to make you eyes water and my chest a bit sore after a while. Like inhaling on an extractor exhaust pipe. I asked a waiter to open a nearby door, and it didn’t make so much difference; only the room cold. So we were between a rock and a hard place: wear your coat and be able to breathe, or have all your clothes stinking of kitchen and your eyes smarting. I was about to leave, but decided to persevere as the door was now open.
We had our three year old child with us, and she got the chicken strips and chips kids meal. She couldn’t eat it (and this is a kid that eats anything). The reason was the chips were rock hard, as was the chicken strips. Like they had been refried from yesterday – just awful.
Garlic bread with cheese was OK, but its hard to get that wrong.
Chicken with parma ham and sauce was highly forgettable. The vegetables were OK.
My wife’s deep fried Mozzarella starter was tasteless and not of good quality, she claimed. She followed with Sea Bass that got a thumbs up.
So overall, the food ranged from the inedible, through the forgettable spectrum and occasionally something was good.
Despite being in a half decent area, the clientèle can hardly be described as beautiful people or high rollers. People were dressed quite drab; more like you would expect in a cafe. A lady in a pretty dress here feels out of place. She may or may not enjoy the waiters trying to flirt with her – as Italians tend to do.
Overall, the food wasn’t up to scratch, the atmosphere was very lacking – to the point of being detrimental to health – and the service a tad clumsy.
Marco Marco is not a place I would ever go back to. I suggest the management and staff all take a trip to Frankie and Benny’s to get a better idea of what they are aiming at. If you are considering visiting an Italian restaurant in the Stockport area, do yourself and your health a favour and choose another one.