Published on August 19th, 2013 | by thehungrymanc1
The Red Cat, Chorley
Time for some more northerly adventures. I’ll begin with The Red Cat near Chorley, Lancashire.
It’s been around for a while and in a few different guises, some good, others a little less so by all accounts. However I’d been meaning to visit for a while since the Rawlinson brothers took it on in 2006.
So when B informed me that she’d made an impromptu Friday evening booking I was delighted.
The Red Cat is an old pub, modernised nicely, but with all the beams and uneven floors you’d expect. Diners are welcomed in the comfy and bright conservatory before heading through to the quiet dining room. The food is largely traditional, quality and local. So there are good meaty dishes and some great sounding seafood all seemingly presented with a couple of more inventive ingredients and all the modernity you would want.
As we awaited the arrival of our starters we were treated to some tasty (and apparently very cute) granary loaves to accompany a shot of chicken liver parfait. The parfait was so smooth and light it felt like I was eating the most deliciously chickeny flavoured whipped cream. One of those canapés that prepares you for the main event but leaves you wanting more. I didn’t ask for more – I was very tempted.
I opted for the chicken and goats cheese terrine to start while B went for the mackerel fillet. Both were stunning to look at and while I didn’t try B’s dish I was assured that it was spot on. As for the terrine – meaty goodness abounded but balanced by great pesto, a bit of texture from the polenta beignet and a proper zing provided by the tomberries. Could have eaten them little suckers all night. Anyone know where you can get them?
For mains we both raided the bounty that is Goosnargh. B opting for the poussin while I went with duck. Again, beautifully presented. The duck was cooked three ways: a perfectly pink breast, five spiced leg and a little duck wanton. The gentle Asian influence was, for me, a nice touch. If I had a terribly niggly head on me I would perhaps say that the full breast was perhaps a big old portion but I’m not really one to complain about robust portions. I can only assume that with B’s refusal to share the poussin dish it was pretty good too.
Desserts were a kind of shared affair. We ordered the banana pannacotta and the homemade chocolate petit fours. Now, get this, I don’t like bananas, well not just plain banana anyway. All mushy and rubbish, it’s a texture thing, but I do love the flavour. The dessert was a celebration of the flavour. So when I say “a kind of shared affair”, think more – dueling spoons to get to each and every morsel. The sharing of the petit fours was much more amicable. There were four flavours on offer but apparently we should only have been able to pick three. Our waitress Harriet very kindly and quickly saw the flaw in this plan, so thankfully let us have one of each of the gorgeous little choccie treats.
A big thanks to Harriet and to the rest of the team at The Red Cat. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and will be back again soon.