Since our daughter went up to Hull University almost 20 years ago the Fergie has been our favourite place for Sunday lunch when visiting for the weekend. We started going there when her friends told us about a place where the puddings were so good they sometimes just went for the puddings.
The Fergie has changed hands.
Last time we went we noticed subtle differences straight away, and this time we decided that what made The Fergie The Fergie had gone.
They have reduced the selection of dishes available at lunchtime, and also the meat selection. The turkey used to be carved from the bone, but this time it was in a net and my daughter had to ask what the meat was. There was lamb, beef, pork and the turkey, but not the gammon which was always a favourite. In the old days there was usually a bit too much meat on the plate. This time I got two slices of beef and my daughter had one slice of pork and one of turkey. The veg selection was OK, and there was precisely one ladle of gravy, which considering the size of the Yorkshire pudding wasn't quite enough. It looks as though they have increased the size of the Yorkshire pudding and decreased the meat portions, which would mean you have a full plate but it costs less to produce.
The beef was tough (first time ever at the Fergie) although the pork and turkey were OK. The Yorkshire pud was quite dry and both of us left quite a bit of it.
There was a man hovering asking if everything was OK, but he didn't actually wait for an answer.
We left our plates on the table and went in search of pudding. Again, a reduced selection, and no cheesecake (a favourite). It can't have run out as we were early. We chose lemon meringue pie and raspberry gratin.
Our plates hadn't been cleared when we returned although the man had been in and out of the room, so we put them on another table to make room. Never had to do that before.
The raspberry pudding used to have a lovely crunchy topping, but not this time. It tasted OK, but just not quite as good as it used to be. The lemon meringue pie had a pastry base that was like cardboard and a very thin layer of lemon topped by a huge layer of meringue. It should have been described as meringue pie, as the lemon wasn't really evident.
The girl who served us with the puddings and took our money was very cheerful and polite, so there were good points.
We also noticed how empty the car park was when we left, so maybe we aren't the only ones to feel a sense of disappointment.
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