6 August 2014

The Townhouse
Set menu

My partner and I often disagree about deals and discounts. When the bottle of wine says “was £14.99, now £8.49”, she will pick it up, content that it’s a bargain. I, perhaps the more cynical of the two of us, will make noises that it probably was never worth fifteen quid in the first place.

What I can’t disagree with however, is real value for money. And that is why I came away feeling supremely content after sampling the early-bird menu at the Townhouse on Whiteladies Road. Three courses for a tenner. Ten pounds!  When I saw that, I decided I need to take my cynicism and give it a damn good go.

Townhouse is set back from the road with a small area of outside seating which, despite the neon fake grass, is a very pleasing place to sit and enjoy a pre-dinner drink. The beer selection on draft is, well, not a selection – they have one. But there’s a decent amount in bottles and plenty of reasonably priced wine. Being in a large group, we moved inside to eat, which is equally comfortable. Think lots of chunky wood and pale walls.

Now, I've eaten at places with this kind of offer before and have always been disappointed. I've found that the only things I've actually wanted to order on the deal had one of those annoying asterisks and the footnote “£5 supplement applies”. However, the menu on offer at the Townhouse was full of lots of things I wanted to eat, and most of them within the £10 bracket.

I started with whitebait which came as it should, with a piece of lemon and a big tub of something dippable. Bang on the money there. The mushrooms on toast also produced murmurs of approval down the table and I barely heard a peep out of those eating the rare roast beef on dripping toast. Full mouths all round.

It should be noted at this point that as this is an early-bird offer and costs £10 (did I mention that?) the portions aren't huge. So if you’re looking for a massive fill, it perhaps isn't the right place. Or rather, perhaps not the right time to visit. I’m sure their à la carte would do the job.

I moved on to a main of hanger steak with fries and a blue cheese dressing. The chips were crispy, the steak well-cooked and they’d not gone overboard on the blue cheese. As a result, a perfectly light version of steak frites. Sure it wasn't the best steak I've ever had but it far exceeded all my expectations. The fish and chip salad was also lovely (I managed to sneak a bite) and equally light considering it had batter and lots of fried things in it.

Pudding was an easy choice for me in the form of the elaborately named, “chocolate nemesis”. It arrived as a big square of rich, chocolatey gooey stuff. Sort of like a delice without the base. It didn't quite stand up to his name as it proved little in the way of a challenge before I’d finished and was licking the spoon. It was however, just enough sweetness to end the meal and somehow managed to be both rich and light. Ditto the Eton Mess, which thankfully wasn't too cream heavy and served as a fairly modest portion.

Looking back at the food we ate, I still struggle to get my head around the price. If there’s a better early doors deal in town, then I’d like to see it. Or maybe I wouldn't. I’m pretty happy with the one I've found.

The set menu is offered from 12pm – 7pm Monday to Friday and 12pm – 6pm on Saturdays.

1 comment :

  1. I went recently. Also had the steak, couldn't get my head round the fish and chip salad as a concept so steered clear of it, maybe I made a mistake there.

    My lemon posset was texturally variable within the shot glass, which was odd. But it was nicely sharp.

    Very good value for £10, I'd be willing to pay more, but it's not shooting to the top of my list of favourite local restaurants.

    Competent, incredibly good value for money, but the food wasn't mind-blowing. Then again £10, who needs their mind blown?