We last visited many years ago when it was an old pub, so knowing that it had become yet another addition to the burgeoning Stein empire we went wondering whether it would be a restaurant that had a bar or a pub that served food. I was pleased to find that it was the latter, retaining the pub atmosphere (at least, in the back bar) and commend them for reserving part of it for drinkers only (as unfortunately far too many pubs cover all tables with place mats, cutlery and condiments, which is not very welcoming or comfortable for those who simply want a couple of pints).
So far so good. However, the menu is more limited and less imaginative than I expected given the Stein hype and publicity, and prices higher than most other pubs. The wine (which we didn’t have) is similarly pricey for a pub.
Despite advertising (website) that food is served until 8.30pm, when we arrived at 7.50 we were told that if we wanted to eat we should order immediately as the kitchen was about to close. I know it was January, but if different winter times apply then they should say so.
I had the cod, chips and mushy peas, which was good but not outstanding. The cod (two fairly small pieces) was good quality and in a crisp batter, the chips average but starchy, while the mushy peas were mushy peas. I enjoyed it, but given the Stein ownership and the higher than average price (£12.50 for the fish and chips, when bigger and better can be had at other pubs for well under a tenner) my enjoyment didn’t extend to thinking it worth the additional cost, so as such I was disappointed. On a more positive note, the ham in my wife’s ham egg and chips (£8.95) was generous and excellent.
Overall it was OK for a pub, but didn’t meet the expectations generated by it being acclaimed as part of the Stein eateries, nor warrant the Stein prices. One has to decide whether the quality of food is worth the additional cost, and for me it didn’t so I doubt we’ll return. My three star rating takes into account the prices and expectations of a pub under its current ownership.
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