We’ve been here before and had a nice evening. And so it was again, although not without glitches.
My starter, like last time, was a no-brainer. A restaurant called Potted Lobster has potted lobster on the menu. They describe it as “posh potted shrimps”. And so it is, comprising local lobster, brown shrimps, crab and smoked salmon in a lightly flavoured butter. It’s served in a Kilner jar, with toast alongside. The other starter came from the specials board – red pepper and tomato soup – light and very summery.
Main courses also came from the specials. A whole plaice, perfectly cooked, topped with a potted shrimp butter sauce. It sort of worked but would have been improved by a more restrained use of very astringent capers which detracted from the mild flavoured fish. It came with a bowl of new potatoes. The other dish was a fillet of hake, I think, roasted. It sat on what was described as “chorizo jam” - basically slices of chorizo in a slightly sweetish sauce. That came with a portion of a really well made dauphinoise potato. There was a bowl of mixed greens for us to share.
We had room for dessert – a lovely lemon part. Sharp but not overly so. It came with a couple of fresh raspberries, a little raspberry sauce, raspberry ice cream and a quenelle of whipped cream.
Mt criticism, such as it is, was that whilst starters arrived promptly, the two other courses had quite long waits. And front of house tasks, like taking orders or clearing finished crockery also took a while. Wine that was ordered at the same rime as the food, failed to arrive and had to be reordered. You notice these things when you make comparisons with similar restaurants at home that you go to regularly. And, speaking of comparisons, the restaurant’s pricing can be, let’s just say, ambitious. Desserts all priced at £10, for example. Compared with an average of £7.50 at four similar places local to me. No doubt, competition in urban areas helps to keep prices down so the restaurant would never be able to charge a tenner there. But, in rural Northumberland, nice places are hard to find.
We’ll certainly visit the Potted Lobster on our next visit to the area. And, I’m sure that if we were locals, we’d visit regularly. But I’m not sure how regular we might be if it was local to our home – just doesn’t quite measure up.