When the people behind Common and Port Street Beer House decide they are going to consult Laurence Tottingham of Aumbry about a menu and they all get on the blower to Hanging Ditch to sort out the wine……..this is going to be a place to visit.
Course it is. That’s why it was an easy choice for the Food Map.
So off we went to The Beagle. And having visited the website and noted the twitter handle we did so humming THAT theme tune. You know the one. All part of the fun, what with the animated, speech-bubbled logo on the website and the obviously informal and relaxed tone therein.
Now as it happens I had popped in a few weeks earlier just for a quick pint with a pal and it was good to see the blackboard list of beers as per PSBH as well as a fantastic selection of beers. A great addition to this end of Chorlton with Pi and Marble just down the way.
This trip however was more about the food. Booked in online we had opted for the 2 courses, sides and matching beers with each course for £20. Sounded great.
Straight through the open bar space at the front (I’ll be back there) and up the stairs to the dining area. It becomes clear that you will not in a hurry forget where you are. The logo is everywhere, the glasses, the menus, the placemats. Not altogether a bad thing just at that point that bloody theme tune was really doing my head in.
At this point I would also like to point out my only (slight) problem with the evening. Tables. Too close. It’s more of a pet peeve than anything but I am not a fan of tables so close together when I’m eating. Don’t get me wrong the informality of the place lends itself to more casual dining but it just irks me a little.
Anyway – minor gripe over. The food. I opted for the pearl barley kedgeree matched with a Bavarian wheat beer. While B chose the Pickled Mackerel which would come with a Belgian Wit beer. As we waited the arrival of our starters what popped up? One of my favourite aspects of our Aumbry experience – bread and warm dripping. My mouth still waters thinking about this. All three breads were incredibly light and with delicious crunchy crusts. The accompanying butter was also great but that dripping – love it.
Starters duly arrived. Kedgeree is not something I would normally go for but as soon as the first forkful hit my mouth I was so very glad I did. Luscious in the mouth but with perfectly cooked barley popping on the chew. The smokey flavour of the fish didn’t overpower the dish. All topped off with a lovely little runny yolked quails egg. Ambrosial.
The combination of me not being a huge fan of Mackerel and B’s wolfing it down meant I didn’t try it but it looked stunning and the feedback was that is was incredibly tasty. The accompanying beetroot relish being zingy and fresh.
The matched beers were both light and fruity. B not being a beer drinker even enjoyed the only mildly hoppy taste of the Belgian in particular.
Mains were the beef & porter pie for me while across the table was the Goosnargh chicken. Sides of garlic kale and seasonal veg. Lord knows how I resisted the champ, the chips or the pink fir apple potatoes but still trying to minimise the carbs. Oh well just an excuse to go back once the carb embargo is lifted.
Before it all disappeared (sorry B) I pinched a bit of chicken. Tender, tasty and perfectly cooked. Then I dived into the pie in front of me. I loved that it was served in the tinfoil pie dish. Anyone else love making a well in the top of a pie and pouring the gravy in? The beef inside was in great big chunks. No puzzling over the odd stringy bit of “something”. It was also fall-apart tender. The pastry was flaky and buttery with just a tiny bit of brilliant sweetness. This no carb thing doesn’t half heighten the senses in this regard.
The matched beer was the Beagle Best for both of us and it’s a great beer. In my opinion it’s quite a “safe” beer in that it shouldn’t really interfere with any of the food on offer. That said B preferred the lighter option which came with the starter. And she was driving. So I got to polish it off. Lucky ol’ me.
In the interests of continued good behaviour we forewent desserts. Yet another excuse to return.
The Beagle is therefore making the Aumbry inspired food more accessible as well as bringing some fantastic beers to the Chorlton offering. It ain’t a pub, not a bar but also not quite a restaurant. So I guess their own description of “A beer house with a dining room.” Sums it up about perfectly.
Oh and that theme tune “Watch out Beagle’s About…..” Don’t blame me if it earworms it’s way into the rest of your day.
Thanks for a great feed and top beers. Already looking to return for beer and bar snacks.
Have you been? What did you think?