It’s the January sales – and the Chop House participates, offering 50% off food costs. It makes it a bargain to be snapped up. The Albert Square Chop House is the newer and posher of the three sites – Mr Thomas’ being the more pubby place and Sam’s being the original (and our favourite).
Corned beef hash features at both starter and main. At starter it comes as a cake, mixed with potato, crumbed and fried. There’s a poached egg on top and a slick of their own version of HP brown sauce (and they don’t do a bad job of it). That was followed by homity pie, featuring Mrs Kirham’s Lancashire as the cheese, with potato and onion, and bound by a cauliflower puree. It was fine, but could have done with a couple of minutes more in the oven to fully crisp the pastry and make sure it was absolutely piping hot. It says it comes with seasonal leaves and so it did, if only they were all frisee.
Tongue & cheek is, no doubt, titled tongue in cheek but it’s a little belter of starter. Long cooked beef, wafer thin shavings of differently coloured crisp carrots and a carrot puree. It was offaly good, as was the main course. That was a steak & kidney pudding that was about as far away from a Hollands pudding from the local chippy that you’d want to get. Here was thick suet pastry, but not overly thick. The “baby’s head” was packed full of powerfully flavoured beef with a goodly presence of kidney, cut not too small. There’s chips, of course (another minute in the fryer would have given a better colour). And mushy peas. And, to remind yourself that you’re in the north, a separate jug of gravy.
Proper food. Done properly.