Overall Score: 5.5/10
We’ve been meaning to try Chadwicks for a long time now and just never seemed to get around to it then a few days ago a chef friend of ours told me he goes there quite a lot and while he feels it is expensive for what you get he did thoroughly recommend it. Say no more, I booked it the following day. Open Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday lunch meant that as I was making the booking on the internet on a Sunday afternoon, I had some time to wait. We already had arrangements for Tuesday and Wednesday so managed to get a table for lunch on the Thursday.
It was a filthy day we chose sadly, raining all the way there then all the way back home again! Chadwicks is a good-looking old-fashioned pub in the small but affluent village of Maltby just outside and Southwest of Middlesborough, not far from Yarm in North Yorkshire.
Inside it’s not large but is well and simply decorated in modern colours, nothing over the top just nice and comfortable, it has tables and chairs outside but none of these were ever going to be occupied on a day as wet as this one was.
Boasting an entry in the Michelin Guide for many consecutive years now as well as two AA Rosettes I was looking forward to our lunch. We didn’t order any drinks as it was lunch time and just went straight to our table. Again, nothing fussy simply laid with a grey paper napkin and two sets of knives and forks, no cloth, the menus and wine list.
What neither of us had realised was that the week we chose to visit was in fact Teesside Food Week and they were offering what seemed to be a simpler menu which was a shame, apart that is from it being a lot cheaper than it would otherwise have been. £20 per person for 3 courses! Yes, you read that right £20 per person, what a bargain!
The menu was short. Two starters one of them soup, the other Ham Hock Terrine. We both chose the terrine. The portion was small – very small but it was as I kept reminding myself, only £20 per person, and tasty enough. It came with some small mounds of pease pudding and pickled shallot rings. Pease pudding has a certain place in my heart, my mother used to make the best pease pudding I’ve ever had, I know I’m obviously biased but honestly it really was. After all my years and experience I still cannot replicate what she made, don’t get me wrong mine is good but still not as good as hers, Chadwicks was definitely acceptable. It also came with a small spoon of pineapple relish which was superb and went really well with the terrine. 6/10
The mains were pork and cod. I chose the cod, and my wife had the pork. Despite the menu price I do see this as a failing, pig followed by pig, there are plenty of other alternatives out there, even to fall into the £20 bracket without having to resort to two courses of pig derivatives. Bad menu planning is all it is and should not happen.
My cod came two ways, a nice thick piece, poached and the skin removed and the other deep fried in what should have been a crisp batter, but which was sadly a bit soggy. Served on a light curry sauce scattered over with coriander cress. The sauce was quite fruity and having looked at the evening menu for that day I noticed the same dish but with more ingredients one of which was sultanas, these would have been nice to have with mine. 5/10
Jane’s Pork came as two substantial slices of roast loin topped with a sauce and a nice piece of extremely crisp cracking which went down really well (with both of us!).
The pork was skilfully cooked, nicely soft to eat and well flavoured. It was accompanied by two tiny swipes of mash and on a bed of nicely cooked shredded Savoy cabbage. 6/10. We also ordered a side of Charlotte potatoes with chive butter, these were so lacking in salt which was sad, and seasonal greens which were a mix of mangetout, calabrese and savoy cabbage, nicely cooked and fresh. £3.75 each so a way of them getting the price up which was fine. 5/10
Dessert was, hard to understand in a way, there were, as with the previous courses two choices, sticky toffee pudding and what can only be described as three small petit fours which were described as a selection of “Chefs Homemade Treats”.
The pudding was nice but small (remember only £20 per person for 3 courses) good flavour of dates and very light texture, the sauce with it was good and the vanilla ice cream I think was, although nice enough, not homemade which is a shame. 6/10
The treats, one a small piece of shortbread, a small chocolate truffle dusted in cocoa powder, and the third a small piece of butter fudge, all nice enough but not a dessert by any stretch of the imagination. 2/10 (as a dessert but 6/10 as petit fours) So much so that the couple sat next to us burst out laughing when their Chefs Homemade Treats arrived.
We had a bottle of Menetou Salon, which was very good, and a wine one rarely sees on any wine list. I used to list it many years ago but took it off the menu when I couldn’t sell it as not enough people had ever heard of it. Mind you £52 for a bottle was very steep, indeed all of the wine list seemed expensive. To be fair I rarely look at the first page of house wines and always go to the main pages, the cheapest wine on the main pages I think was £40. Our bill was £99.50 in the end with the wine and side orders so that £20 per person soon developed into much more but I do not begrudge it in any way.
The restaurant was busy enough for a wet Thursday and service was good and the staff very pleasant, overall a good experience and one we will repeat but we will try to return when the properly priced menu is on and hope for better things as I am certain next time I return my score on a proper menu will be higher.
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