It’s just over three years since I was last at the Pheasant. Some things havn’t changed. Then the menu proudly proclaimed “We source the very best local and free range produce wherever available”. Then there was not a single item on the menu described as free range. Now, the menu proudly makes the same proclamation. And, now, there’s still not a single mention of an ingredient being free range. Frankly, that’s a bit piss poor.
Some things have changed – or, at least, my ordering skills have improved. Then I made the mistake of ordering a fridge cold terrine that tasted of nothing but cold. And the classic error of ordering pub fish and chips – never a great idea. Things were a bit better this time around.
Goats cheese risotto was well made. Well made, that is, for the UK. By which, I mean it was not the thick claggy gloop that usually passes for risotto. Now, it wasn’t as soupy as you’d get in northern Italy but it wasn’t at all shabby. And packed with flavour. The local Kinderton goats cheese really delivering on a tang. Less thrilling were a small “nibbles” serving of cauliflower fritters – not much a flavour from the veg, but a nice crisp batter. They were advertised as coming with a chilli and garlic dip which would have worked well. But, it actually came with what was probably a homemade plum chutney, which was sort of OK , but it lacked the kick you’d have got from the chilli and garlic.
For mains, a burger was a big lad, topped with bacon and cheddar. The bun, as all too often, was soft, flabby and disintegrated before half had been eaten. Everything tasted good though and was accompanied by mustard mayo, a tomato & sweetcorn relish and decent chips.
Breast of salt marsh lamb was advertised as being a confit, although I doubt it was. What it was, was a very nice piece of meat, long cooked and then crisped up in the pan or oven. It’s hard for anyone to cook breast of lamb in a way I don’t like and this was no exception. Came with carrots, asparagus just cooked through and decent mash. Unfortunately, it also came with industrial strength gravy which was oversalted and already forming a skin before I started eating. It was best avoided.
Oh, and there’s still cracking views across the Cheshire plain up towards Liverpool that might make the trip just about worthwhile in spite of the so-so food.