Oh my word it has been a long time since I was here. Things have been so hectic this last 3 months. Not the least of which is that the Fishwife’s team expanded to include a puppy. This, I have now remembered, is not all cuteness and stolen toilet rolls. Nope, it is also sleepless nights, chewed chairs, ripped curtains and full-on attention seeking. These facts, long forgotten since my last dog, are exacerbated by the fact that the Fishwife’s pup is a Vizsla (known as Velcro dogs for very good reason).
Anyway, I have managed to discover a few gems over this time, and there has been one rather unfortunate pub Sunday lunch. I know, I know, as someone tweeted me recently, I never learn. To be fair, on this occasion, the pub in question had asked me to come along and try their Sunday Lunch as the new owners of said pub had been trying very hard to get the food right and wanted some feedback. So being rather a game bird, I put aside my natural skepticism (see post on The Chestnut pub) and we booked in for lunch.
Because I know the guys that run this particular pub are new, and because I know how damn hard it is to get food right, I am not going to name them (I don’t do this often so bear with..). I want them to do well and succeed, so I am just going to say this…
If you are going to serve topside beef, no matter how well cooked (and it was indeed still pink) you need to slice it thinly. This “slice” of beef is actually one slice concertinaed in on itself, it was wider than the plate, and thicker than a 1 pound coin, over a centimetre I would guess. So with the best will in the world, I couldn’t cut it. I made three attempts and gave up. It went back pretty much untouched.
Another bugbear of mine, gravy. Why on earth can’t gravy be served in a separate jug? I don’t want my meal soaked in gravy, especially NOT my Yorkshire Pudding, which in this case, apart from the very outer crust was just a soggy mess on my plate. Insult was added to injury by the addition inside the Yorkshire, along with a puddle of gravy, of a rather unpleasant tasting stuffing ball. Oh, and what is this obsession now with red cabbage? why is red cabbage on my plate? I’ll keep this short – I ate the roast potatoes and the edge of my Yorkshire and that was it, the plate went back to the kitchen virtually untouched.
I soldiered on. Apple Crumble and custard, should be simple enough? Well, the apple “filling” underneath was scalding hot (I assume microwaved, which is fine) and tasty enough, but presumably the crumble mix was added afterwards and should have been bunged under the grill or blasted with the blowtorch to cook it and crisp it up. Unfortunately, the chef forgot this bit and served me with a raw crumble. Thankfully, raw crumble is quite tasty, but still.
The bill came with no offer of a reduction, even though the main course was sent back pretty much untouched (and, yes, I had made my views known at the time). When I asked for the main meal to be removed from the bill, I was offered 10% off. Not really good enough.
So there we go, I am still of the view that very, very few pubs can serve a decent Sunday lunch.
All is not lost though! We had a lovely time at the Malt Cross in Nottingham, discovered fab alcohol infused cakes at Oozee Boozee bakes, had a lovely stone-baked pizza from Peel Pizza at the Ilkeston Christmas Food Fair (brilliant value, even had reindeer…), had a good lunch at the Wheatsheaf in Bingham, enjoyed chocolates from Chocolate Utopia and had a weird and wonderful coffee experience at the Coffee House (more of that later). So although I have not been writing here, I haven’t deprived myself of eating experiences. Oh, you can also check out my recipes using Nottinghamshire’s wonderful Stichelton Cheese in Pan magazine and healthy soups and shakes in NG Magazines (blog post soon).
Wait, got to go, dog is howling..