[High Lane, Stockport] Red Lion

The pub operates two menus at lunchtime – the main carte and a very reasonably priced set menu (3 courses for £21.95). The latter has three or four choices at each course and that was the route one of us went down.

So, there was a well made and well seasoned pumpkin veloute which was bang-on for seasonality. That was followed by a spring onion and Cheshire cheese risotto which was fine – perhaps could have done with more of the onion and a heavier hand with the seasoning. Dessert was one of those disappointing ones that weren’t worth the calories – in this case, Christmas pudding with brandy butter and rum sauce. It was just very underwhelming – pudding itself had none of the richness you’d expect and the rum sauce was tasteless and watery.

Offerings from the main carte were much better. To start, there was kedgeree. This was pretty well put together, with little flakes of smoked haddock in amongst the rice and a hint of curry flavours and topped with a poached egg that moistened everything up. Main course was belly pork – two slabs of long cooked meat with perfectly crisp crackling. Alongside, steamed cabbage, mashed spuds and gravy – and you really don’t need anything more fancy. Dessert was the “crumble of the day” – in this case, plum – nicely sharp with a crunchy topping. It comes with either cream or ice cream and would have been even better if they did custard.

No custard offered with crumble? Surely there’s some bylaw against this? If not there should be.