THANKS to the hefty amount of pubs serving food and competing for your custom you really are spoilt for choice.
For me it’s not a case of cheap is cheerful as that is definitely not the case with many.
Some places, however, do in fact go that little bit further and not only sell pub classics and carvery, they also offer an alternative menu for those wanting something slightly different. Doncaster’s Table Table @ The Barley Twist in the Premier Inn has launched just that with its brand new September Specials menu which takes food sourced from regions including Cornwall, Scotland and Lancashire and gives them a seasonal twist with a contemporary edge.
Who in their right mind other than Heston Blumenthal would create a dish of haddock and black pudding cakes or a starter of certified sustainable sardines on tiger bread with relish..?
Table Table that’s who!
Having never dined here before, we decided to try both the September Specials Menu and the regular menu. Starting with the Table Table Platter for two to share, followed by bacon and cheese topped chicken breast and the Blumenthal-esque Bury black pudding and smoked haddock fishcakes it would be interesting to see if we would manage to squeeze dessert in.
The Table Table platter didn’t take long to arrive. You get a selection of garlic and herb breaded mushrooms, battered chicken strips, potato wedges, dough balls, onion rings, duck parcels, nachos and sauces to accompany including barbecue, sour cream and tomato salsa. It’s enough to hold the hunger monster at bay without filling you up too much prior to the next course.
It was the main course I was looking more forward to, namely the black pudding and haddock fish cakes. When it arrived, it came with chips and mushy peas and the two cakes were each topped with a rasher of crispy bacon.
From the top they look like regular fish cakes but when you cut into them you are met by a layer of black pudding on the bottom. Now normally this wouldn’t be everyone’s idea of taste heaven but it is in fact delightful. You also get a dollop of HP’s Guinness Sauce, which I have at home in the cupboard, and the sauce makes that already delightful taste much more enjoyable.
The bacon and cheese topped chicken breast from the regular menu is served with chunky chips and barbecue sauce. The bacon and cheese not only adds depth to the breast, it enhances the flavour too. It’s hard to tell if the bacon is smoky or not but the barbecue sauce ensures it is. The chunky chips taste good and are perfect for dipping in the sauce.
It would be rude to leave without sampling the desert menu. The unanimous choice of caramel apple crumble was a must have and to be honest a good choice. Soft apple segments sprinkled in a sugary crumble and topped with caramel then covered in sweet warm custard guaranteed we would be leaving content.
n John Bognor