Wednesday, 21 March 2018

SAMUEL'S REST - Upper Church road, Shedfield

It's getting harder and harder to find pubs that we haven't already visited, so after a bit of tinternet trawling, I came across Samuel's Rest. Turns out, it's another pub that I've never been to, but Dad has, many years back. So our course was set, and a new adventure lay in wait.

I think it's fair to say we received an indifferent welcome at the bar as we enquired about food and drinks. This is a shame, as we know from experience how much difference a warm welcome can make to your time in a pub, especially one you haven't been to before. Bravely marching on, we took a table in the corner and got stuck in to the menu. I have to say, we both found it to be a slightly unusual one. The prices weren't bad, many meals on offer just over £10, but it was all a bit disjointed. There is a lot of emphasis on burgers, which in itself isn't a bad thing, but it all went a bit far. There was of course your classic beef burger, as well as chicken, lamb, venison, and about five different vegetarian burgers, which to be honest all got a bit confusing. Never the less, as the burgers seemed to be a big thing here, I opted for the chicken version. Dad picked out the steak and kidney pudding with mash.

We made several mental notes as we waited for our food, and I shall lay them out for you now. There were two fires in the pub, but neither were in action. I always feel a bit sad when a pub fire isn't roaring. It lends a wonderful cosy atmosphere, as well as the obvious warming qualities. The walls were festooned with paintings which are for sale, the one next to our table was up for £75. There was music playing in the pub, but it was only on one side, so our half was a bit quiet, which I suppose may suit some people. Last week, we discussed the acceptable time to wait for your food in a pub. We decided that around 15 minutes was about right, depending on how busy things are. There were four tables eating, including us, so we were a bit surprised when that time came and went. It was actually over 30 minutes before our meals appeared. It was even more of a surprise to see a specials board appear after us and two of the other tables had already ordered.

My chicken burger came with a choice of fries or gourmet chips, I of course chose the latter. I'm not sure they qualified as such. They were in fact big frozen chips, but were fine. The burger itself was fairly small, and closely related to the Birdseye family. The coleslaw was good, and the accompanying salad was very good and surprisingly substantial. Although we are pretty sure Dad's pudding wasn't made on site, he said it was excellent, and his mash was also very nice in deed. The portion sizes were certainly healthy, both of us struggling to finish, and in all, it wasn't a bad showing for the money.

The food we experienced here wasn't bad, neither was it out of this world, it was very much of this world. We think it's safe to say that much of the produce on offer isn't made in the pub kitchen, more prepared. Despite this, it wouldn't be fair to say we were disappointed. Dad particularly enjoyed his steak and kidney pudding. As with so many pubs, there are some basic fundamentals which could be addressed, but you could certainly do worse.

Atmosphere                     6.5
Service                              5
Food                                  6.5
Value                                 7.5
Verdict                              3.5*

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