Bear Experience: Spontaneous Pub Lunch

So this post was meant to be from a couple of weeks ago, but I got carried away with all the other ones, there is much more content to come – I’m lagging behind but I’ll catch up.

As a family, everyone in the house is always busy, someone is always either out or they have something to do at home that takes up their free time. Nishant and I were watching a cooking show and I just had this sudden urge to go out for a pub lunch. We were both free, Bhabhi was doing some housework and mum had just come back from her driving lesson (she’s an instructor – yeah I know, so cool).

I turned to Nishant and said, “Why don’t us 4 go out for lunch, I know dad is at one of his volunteering duty’s but we can still go”. Nishant agreed so we started searching around for decent pubs in the local area and I came across “Frog & Rhubarb”. After much persuading, we managed to get Mum to come with us.

BE - Spontaneous Pub Lunch FI
Quiet little pub in a quiet little area

We arrived around 2:30pm, as you can see from the image, it was bright and sunny – perfect for a Sunday pub lunch. It was spacious inside, the top section wrapped around the bar. As you follow the steps down to the lower level, the layout seems a lot more like a restaurant, ample space indoors and a few tables outside.

It was such a nice day, so we decided to get a table outdoors. I arrived armed with my camera knowing that this lunch will end up being another blog post. We were given the menus and began looking through, there were plenty of options. I will go through what we ordered:

Starters:

  • Goats cheese salad (V)

Mains:

  • Roasted vegetable tagliatelle (V)
  • Moroccan mushroom wrap (V)
  • Butternut squash, goat cheese & beetroot burger (V)
  • Lamb burger in flatbread with rosemary potatoes

Dessert:

  • Deep fried Mars bar
  • Handmade bake (strawberry cheesecake)

Drink:

  • Firefly revitalising fruit drinks – peach & green tea

Goats cheese salad (V)

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Grated beetroot, cherry tomato, red onion, basil oil & mixed leaves

I’m a sucker for a starter, any excuse to get some food in my belly as soon as I can. I thought seeing as though it was a nice summers day, why not go for a nice refreshing salad and saw this beauty on the menu (I was sold when I saw it had pesto in it). I took a bite and wow, this was a good salad. It was everything you’d want; the sharp bitterness of the cherry tomatoes, tangy goat’s cheese, crunchy red onion with the sweet beetroot in a bed of mixed leaves topped with blobs of pesto. Even Nishant who isn’t usually a big fan of pesto, enjoyed it.

Score: 4/5

Roasted vegetable tagliatelle (V)

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Pan-roasted courgette, aubergine, peppers & red onion in a smoky paprika & tomato sauce topped with grana padano cheese

This was mother dearests dish, she can be very picky when it comes to pasta (being a typical Asian mum and preferring good old home cooking). I must admit though she is very open to trying new things now so I guess it isn’t all that bad. Due to the limited range of vegetarian options on the menu, she swayed more towards this dish because of the crunchy onion, pepper and marinated aubergine. She asked for it without the cheese as shes not really a fan. As soon as she started eating, we didn’t hear a peep out of her. We then asked her what she thought, and she said, “This is the best pasta I’ve ever had”. Now that’s saying something coming from a well rounded home cook who has experience of cooking many different dishes. I would have preferred the cheese with it but hey – it wasn’t my dish.

Score: 4/5

Moroccan mushroom wrap (V)

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Sliced field mushroom, mixed peppers & red onion in a spiced Moroccan sauce. With chunky chips

One word to describe this – wet. I’m not sure if it just happened to be the one that Bhabhi got, but there was way too much sauce inside the wrap. There was flavour there, but nothing that really stood out, everything was very safe and nothing really made you think “wow this tastes good”. I guess the best way I’d describe this would be very familiar flavours set in the wrong way. The filling would have been much better on its own, with some aromatic rice and a side salad in my opinion. The generous portion of chips were fresh and fluffy, nothing wow about them, they were just a good set of chips.

Score: 2.5/5

Butternut squash, goat cheese & beetroot burger (V)

DSC00455
A combination of butternut squash, goats cheese and beetroot fried in crispy breadcrumbs in a white bun with chunky chips

Nishant decided to go for a vegetarian option seeing as though it looked like quite an adventurous combination of ingredients in the burger. As soon as he took a bite from it, I could tell he was enjoying it. He labelled it, “the best vegetarian burger he has ever had”. I did take a bite and I do have to admit it was really delicious. The juice of the sweet beetroot oozed into your mouth whenever you took a bite. It was also quite a chunky patty and not one of those “on-a-diet” flat ones. The chips were the same as the ones that came with the Moroccan mushroom wrap.

Score: 5/5

Lamb burger in flatbread

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Two succulent lamb burgers sandwiched between a warm flatbread, gem lettuce, sliced cucumber, cool mint sauce topped with grilled halloumi cheese served with rosemary potato cubes.

Okay so I’ve had ALOT of lamb burgers in my time, and almost all of them were combined with some sort of mint sauce (as we know mint goes so well with lamb). This was by far the best and most succulent and juicy lamb burger I’ve ever had. The saltiness of the halloumi worked so well to cut through the fresh taste of the salad and mint. What was even better was that it wasn’t just one patty, but two! all wrapped in a warm flatbread. I literally had juices running down my hand, but I didn’t care because each bite was like a lamb party in my mouth. The rosemary potatoes were a welcoming addition to the full flavoured flat bread. It came with a nice cool mayo dip.

Score: 4.25/5

Deep fried mars bar & Handmade Cake (Strawberry Cheesecake)

Dessert
Mars bar coated in batter and deep fried until golden with honeycomb ice cream, strawberry cheesecake with vanilla ice cream

This was my first experience of a deep fried Mars bar. I’ve heard so much about it and as soon as I saw it on the menu, my eyes lit up. Nishant decided to go for the strawberry cheesecake. To be honest, there is no visually pleasing way to present a fried Mars bar, but I think they did the best they could with what they had. I asked to swap the vanilla ice-cream for honeycomb and they politely obliged. I cut into the bar, took a small scoop of ice-cream and wow. The nougat and caramel was gooey and just melted in your mouth – I was in paradise.

I didn’t really have enough of the strawberry cheesecake to be able to score it, but from what Nishant said, it was pretty good.

The score below refers to the deep fried Mars bar.

Score: 4/5

Firefly Revitalising Fruit Drinks – Peach & Green Tea

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Peach & Green Tea (red one)

I though as we’re out, there no point in getting the bog-standard Coke or other generic soft drink, so when I saw this on the menu, I thought to myself – lets give this a try. It came in a funky bottle, short but fat, and as I poured it into the glass, I could smell the subtle peach flavour and it was so fresh. I took a sip and it was cool and fruity with only a slight green tea aroma. It went well with my food as the it was quite a neutral but fresh taste.

Score: 4/5

Overall it was a really nice experience and although the mains took a while to arrive, it was well worth the wait. The waiting staff were very accommodating and polite and the quality of food was of high standard. I look forward to my next visit.

Bear Experience Score: 4.25/5

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