I like gastro pubs!
In principle that is. I don’t like gastro pubs when they serve shite beer. They lose their right to the term ‘gastro’ if they don’t understand that beer is a food stuff that warrants as much care and attention as the cooking and the wine. If turning a pub into a gastro pub means that a pub remains in use as a pub then I’m all for it. It’s when I experience something as in my previous post that I start to worry. Some could do well to learn from true restaurants.
Last night we ate out at Norwich City Football Club. Yellows is one of the two restaurants at the ground run by the catering group owned by St Delia of Norwich*. It’s billed as a New York diner. I’ve never been to the Big Apple, as I believe it’s known, so I have no way of vouching for it’s authentic, but it is a really good restaurant. It is the second time we’ve been there and the food, the service and the cleanliness on both occasions has been first rate. On the first visit I drank Budweiser Budvar. At the time it seemed like the most painless choice. This time I thought I’d just check again to see what different beers might be on offer.
“What beers do you have please?” I enquire in the hope of something interesting.
“Is that lager or bitter?” the young lady replied.
“Ooh bitter” I say expecting only to be offered keg, but hoping for more.
“We have Wherry”, she offered.
“Oh yes please, I’ll have a pint of Wherry” I say in an enthusiastic manner that seemed to amuse her and quite took me by surprise.
Woodfordes Wherry is the staple of many a pub serving real ale in Norwich, and whilst I do like new beers, I never grow tired of this fine session ale. As an accompaniment to my ale I selected the equally ubiquitous burger and chips. It’s strange how the burger has become respectable. This wasn’t just any old burger it was a succulent, hand-pressed, quality beef, chargrilled burger. But you’d expect nothing less from Delia. The menu stated burger and chunky chips. Well, actually it said fries, but as that’s the language of the tosser I will avoid using it. I have before expressed my undying love for the very thin chip and so asked if they would provide these instead. They were only too happy.Yellows is just such a pleasurable experience where they prove its possible to serve great food in a very charming and courteous manner and serve quality real ale as well, and all at reasonable prices. Pubs take note. You can learn a thing or two from the undisputed queen of British cooking (so to speak).
*As an East Anglian and a child of the fifties I was raised on Fanny Craddock who was succeeded by Delia Smith. Delia appear regularly on Look East (the local BBC news programme) well before she became a national heroine.