A relatively new conversion of the old Barleycorn pub sees established an offshoot of the better known city centre gaff, Albert’s Shed. It’s big. It’s noisy (partly from the low ceiling and hard surfaces, but also from the loud music). Noisy enough that this grumpy old man found it hard to concentrate on conversation with the other side of the table. But grumpy old men are not what Albert’s is about – it is definitely a “young person’s place”. Which was odd – because it was friends of our own age who had picked this place, as one of their favourites.
There’s a fairly wide menu – pizzas and pastas as well as more “modern Brit” food – and it reads quite well. There’s an attempt here to deliver serious food, even if it doesn’t always hit the mark.
Herself started with a special of Bury black pudding which sat on a crisp rosti cake. A couple of slices of fried apple and a drizzle of chive/butter sauce brought it together. Followed by a 28 day aged fillet steak. Ordered at medium rare, it came well done. It should have gone back but that might have spoiled the evening a bit. You get to pick two accompaniments to go with your main – herself went for the ubiquitous fat chips and a rocket salad. Beef was well flavoured, shame about the cooking
My own starter was an absolute cutey. A little shortcrust pastry pie, filled with long cooked beef. It came with a spoonful of mushy peas and little jug of gravy. Clever, Very clever. The main was also well crafted – rabbit stuffed with mushrooms and pancetta and an apple/cider and cream sauce. I liked this – earthy mushrooms and the salty pancetta both worked well with the rabbit, without overpowering it. Alongside, I ordered the chips and roasted root veg. Two perfectly decent plates of food.
Desserts were pannatone bread & butter pudding and a treacle tart. Both with Cheshire Farms ice cream (which isn’t necessarily a recommendation in my book). They were OK but nothing to write home about.
Service, whilst efficient, was of the style where the overly chatty waiter wants to be your best mate. I’m not sure there was ever a time when I thought this a good idea and certainly not now I’m a grumpy old man.
Albert’s is certainly popular amongst the local glitterati. There’s a short lunch menu at two courses for a tenner and I might well be back to try that. But, I wouldnt be in any rush to be back for dinner. IT'S JUST TOO DAMN NOISY - I SAID, IT'S JUST TOO DAMN NOISY.