We’re having a vegetarian week, so it was something of a no-brainer where to go on “dinner out night”.
There was a lovely light salad to start for one of us. Charred and slightly wilted quarters of Little Gem, artichokes, broad beans and peas. Nice lemony dressing. The other was a veggie take on the classic Chinese shredded duck and pancake. Here, oyster mushrooms had been very finely sliced, given a coating of something and deep fried to crispness. There were pancakes, a cucumber and watercress salad that may or may not have had the advertised pickled ginger but I couldn’t detect it. And a little dish of plum sauce. Good idea although the mushroom had been cut so small, given so much of the coating, and really deep fried that I couldn’t taste any mushroom. This was just a pile of not unpleasant crispy things on the plate.
For mains, there was a chickpea and veggie black pudding burger for my partner. I’ve had it before and can confirm that it's a belter. Comes on decent brioche that doesn’t fall apart and is topped with melted cheddar. Burger itself is of the right consistency and is packed with the flavour you’d expect from a “proper” black pud. Lancashire cheese sausages were also full of flavour. A couple of them rested on top of a mound of mash. Proper mash – potatoes mashed, not a poncy, sloppy pomme puree. And a beer gravy. I took a side order of spring veg – kale, cabbage, peas – and it worked well.
Desserts proved to be as underwhelming as they often are at this level of cooking. A pecan cheesecake was OK. Crisp base, flavour of the nuts but it was quite claggy. You could feel it almost stick to the roof of your mouth. Chocolate brownie came with what was described as a honeycomb Eton Mess. Which meant it came with a dollop of cream, a dollop of red fruit sludge and a scattering of Crunchie. Not worth the calories.