This week we decided to look at a small family-run restaurant in the village of Wardleton. ‘The Old Mill’ is newly opened and overlooks the River Wardle, and we had heard several favourable comments about it. Because we had been advised to book early, we managed to get a nice table with a view of a quay. We were made very welcome and the service was excellent because it is a small family business. The proprietor, Jeff Dean, runs the kitchen himself and his wife, Nelly, showed us to our table.
Although the choice of items on the menu was very extensive, it was rather traditional. A long menu always worries me, because a large menu often means a large freezer! We started with Wardle Trout and although it was fresh, it was spoilt by the number of herbs. For my main course I chose the pepper steak, which was the speciality of the day. I thought it was almost perfect because the chef had chosen excellent meat and it was cooked just long enough.
My wife ordered the roast lamb, and although the quality of the meat was good, she thought it was a little underdone. Though the vegetables were fresh, they came in very small portions and were rather over-cooked for our taste. However, the bread was fresh because it had been baked on the premises. I have often complained in this column about the difficulty of finding any restaurant which serves a fresh fruit salad. Luckily, this one did. Even though it must have been very time-consuming to prepare, it was a delight to see, and I had a second helping.
As usual I chose house wine, as this is often the best way to judge a restaurant’s wine list. It was a French-bottled table wine which was quite satisfactory and reasonably priced. The bill, including coffee and brandy, came to 37 pounds, which was acceptable for the class of restaurant, although that did not include service.
by Rebecca Mitchell
Nashville Superburger Bar,
Open: 7 days a week, 24 hours a day
A new American fast-food chain has just opened its first restaurant in Britain. ‘Nashville Superburger Bar’ is just off Leicester Square. Because of the success of McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken, I was interested to see if Nashville had anything new to order. The restaurant was so brightly-lit that I wished I’d brought my sun-glasses. Once I’d got used to light, I rather liked the green and orange plastic décor, which was very futuristic. The place was spotlessly clean – almost antiseptic! Although there was a long queue, service was incredibly fast. The menu was limited to a variety of hamburgers and prices were very reasonable. I had the ‘Giant Superburger’ which was served with generous helping of french fries. Although the burger itself was rather tasteless, there was a large selection of relishes on every table and the french fries were the best I’ve ever tasted. This kind of establishment obviously caters for young people in a hurry. I was amazed to see that many of the customers preferred to eat standing up even though there were seats available. Most of the customers were under 25 and alone. Everybody seemed to be drinking milk-shakes and although I’m not fond of them I felt I should have one. Not much can go wrong with a milk-shake and it tasted as good or as bad as any other. Although it’s a quick and efficient way of taking nourishment, you wouldn’t choose ‘The Nashville’ for a quiet and romantic evening with a friend. Although I wasn’t in a hurry I was in, fed, and out in ten minutes. It reminded me very much of a motorway filling station.