[Bamburgh, Northumberland] Mizen Head

This proved to be our most disappointing meal of our week in the area. It wasn’t so much the quality of the food that was the issue, but the service and delays. It took ages for orders to be taken, ages for starters to come, finger tapping ages for main courses. So, issues with both the kitchen and front of house. Perhaps needless to say, we didn’t bother with dessert.

As for the starters, when they finally arrived, they weren’t too bad. Kippers from down the road at Craster had been turned into a quite poky soft pate – lots of smokey flavour. And a big enough portion that it could be spread thickly on toast. The other starter came from the day’s specials = black pudding and haggis bon bons. Bags of flavout here also, softerned by a whisky cream sauce.

There were two plaice fillets for one main course. One of them breaded, the other pan fried, with a warm tartare sauce. It made for a large and somewhat unbalanced plate. As with several of the main courses, carbs and veg are chargeable extras, so a not particularly cheap plate of food becomes quite poor value.

A seafood curry was just disappointing. There were chunks of white fish that may or may not have been the same type of fish. They were in quite watery curry sauce. Now, I know I wasn’t in a South Asian restaurant so wouldn’t have high expectations here but flavours were lacking. There was none of the vibrancy you get from spices in food from that part of the world. I’m certainly not suggesting that they’d simply opened a jar of catering industry curry sauce – but it tasted like they had.

We did speak to the restaurant manager at the end of the meal, to express our views about the delays. The explanation was that they were busy. Yeah, but. If you have bookings then you know how many staff you need that night – or don’t be greedy and take more bookings than you can cope with.

We wouldn’t return and couldn’t recommend the place.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold