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Belper, Derbyshire
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Dinner At The Greyhound Inn, Belper

Published On Sunday 30 Mar 2014 by Sticky Beak
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Well Sticky Beakers, you are not going to believe what I am about to tell you.......... it is with great surprise that I must concede defeat at the hands of food. Let me elaborate. Our little nest has been meaning to make the trip to The Greyhound in Belper for a while now, but due to various factors money has not been available for a good night out. However, last night we finally made it. The Tribal Elders also came with us, so it was a lovely flock night out.

We perused the regular menu, the specials menu and the daily specials board on the wall behind us, and I must admit it took a good while for us all to make our choices. We all said that we could easily have chosen at least half a dozen different dishes. Our choices for our starters were 2 x Beer Battered Cornish Brie, Breaded Spicy Crispy Prawns, Salmon and Crab Fishcake, and Creamy Garlic Mushrooms. All the starters came out together and were beautifully presented on Square White plates with side garnishes. Everyone commented on the fact that they were lovely and hot, not lukewarm. The batter on the Brie was incredibly light, very Tempura-esque in taste and consistency. The Fishcake was a thick, meaty affair with plenty of taste and texture, and fish in abundance ( not just filled with potato and little else ). My Daddy bird loves Garlic Mushrooms, and has them most of the time as a starter where they are offered on the menu, but he pronounced the ones at The Greyhound to be the best he has ever had. Apparently the garlic sauce was lovely and thick and creamy, with just the right amount of garlic, and he was happy to use the bread roll to get every last drop of sauce out! My little chick said that her Crispy Prawns were exactly that, or as she actually said “just as they were described on the tin“, (to quote a famous advert renowned for it’s no nonsense approach). and more.

For our main courses we settled on 2 x The Cod Father, Leek and Potato Bake, Steak and Chicken Combo ( with Fire Cracker Sauce ), and Shin of Beef with Port Sauce, Mustard Mash and Horseradish Dumpling. We also ordered side portions of Salad and Onion Rings.

As with our starters, the food all came out together and was piping hot. Each dish was beautifully presented, as you will see from the photographs, and to say that the portions would satisfy even the hungriest person is an understatement of epic proportions.

The Shin of Beef was incredibly tender and was super-tasty; the meat just melted on your tongue, and the accompanying mustard mash was equally tasty. There was just the right amount of mustard tang to be tasted without being over-powering and it was made with wholegrain mustard which made it more pleasing to the eye. The Horseradish dumpling was lovely and light, more of a scone in texture I would say, and was again beautifully seasoned so that you could just taste the horseradish without too much heat. A selection of vegetables including Cabbage, Green Beans, Carrots and Mashed Swede also accompanied this dish. At this point I would just like to say that I swear on my feathers that I had a magic portion of meat because I was chowing through it at a steady rate of knots but it didn’t seem to be diminishing in the slightest! Even my daddy remarked on this fact. It took me a fair while to concede defeat to this most marvellous meaty confection, but I had to admit that I just couldn’t finish my meal.

The 2 portions of The Cod Father left my Mummy and Daddy Birds both Speechless (which only very rarely happens). Both fish portions were absolutely HUGE!! Over an inch thick and coated in such a crisp, light, golden batter it made your beak chatter with excitement just looking at them. Each fillet was nestled on a bed of homemade chips and a separate dish of mushy peas sat beside them on the plate. The Cod was firm, juicy and very tasty and the chips were moreish and not at all greasy according to the elders, so they were very happy birdies.

The Boy Wonder had ordered the Chicken and Steak Combo, and was pleased to report that the chicken was lovely and moist, and the steak was cooked beautifully medium and had a wonderful taste. The Firecracker sauce was in his words “kicking, but not over-powering - although it does have a bit of fieriness to it, so it’s perhaps not for the faintest of hearts “. He also sampled the Home made Onion Rings, which again were rather large in nature and fried in a lovely light batter. My little chick also tried an onion ring and remarked on how yummy they were.

My chick had opted for The Leek and Potato Bake on this particular occasion, not because she is vegetarian but just because that is what she fancied that night. Being only young in age she doesn’t have a worldly sophisticated palate, but she knows how ingredients taste and when something is cooked well. She tucked into the bake with a serious amount of gusto, and didn’t come up for air for a good few seconds, so it was fair to say that it was getting a  “ thumbs up “ from her taste buds. After a couple of minutes, when asked her opinion, she said that it was very nice, the vegetables weren’t soggy and that the cheesy sauce was just right - oh and that it got 2 thumbs up.

The side salad was beautifully presented and came with a light dressing on that didn’t drown the salad. However, we didn’t manage to finish this either, because we were all so stuffed to bursting point.

Needless to say we declined to look at the dessert menu which again, like my parents speechlessness, only happens in a blue moon. But it also gives us a reason to go back again in the near future (which we had decided to do anyway).

The staff were all smartly dressed and so incredibly polite; they couldn’t do enough for us. There was music in the background as you would expect in a pub environment, but it was at a level that provided pleasant background sounds rather than being an assault on your ear drums. A lot of thought has been given to the eating area decor too; it was very clean and understated with patterned paper on just a couple of feature walls.

Belper, you have got yourselves a local treasure here, please support it and be proud of it. The rest of Derbyshire, if you haven’t been here before, what on earth is keeping you?? I really, really can’t recommend this venue highly enough - it was everything you could want,

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