Sunday Lunch At The Tickled Trout In Barlow
Another Sunday, another jaunt out for a Flock roast lunch! Mind you, it was somewhere fab to see out 2023: The Tickled Trout (TT) in Barlow. The Man Bird and I had recently been here for dinner and enjoyed it so much that we thought we’d bring Mummy Bird out for a visit.
Clearly, it’s the place to be on a Sunday – the car park was rammed and spaces on the road were just about full, too! There were families in with kids of all ages and high-chairs were being used left, right and centre; I love to see children being included when families dine out. A very well behaved pooch was at a table in the bar area, practising his Jedi mind-tricks on his humans’ food, to some success I might add. The private upstairs dining room ‘Top of The Trout’ was also in use which, by the way folks, is free to use (obvs conditions apply, but ask the team for details).
We were greeted warmly by one of the TT team and shown over to our table. Without being asked, we were offered water for the table and our drinks orders were taken; then we were given some time to peruse the great Sunday Roast menu. Unusually for our flock, we all decided to have a starter course: His Nibs had the same Spiced Cornish Cod Scotch Egg with Curry Mayo (£9.95) that he’d had on our previous visit, Mummy had the TT Fishcakes with Chipotle ‘Slaw (£7.95) and I had the Parma Ham and Goats Cheese Salad with Candied Walnuts and Compressed Melon (£9.50).
Before long, we were all tucking in and a reverential silence fell over our party. His Nibs was just as in love with his morsel as he had been before, but with a thick coating of flavoursome, pressed Cod and a golden, rich tasting, runny-yolked egg in the centre that tasted marvellous, what’s not to love? Mummy was equally smitten with her soft, comforting Fishcakes and the contrastingly crunchy, rainbow-hued Chipotle ‘Slaw – the spice in this certainly was a ‘winter warmer’. Chef had seasoned the Fishcakes beautifully, and texturally they were perfect in the mouth: not too dry, not too wet. My salad starter was excellent, with a multitude of tastes and textures keeping my palate and senses occupied! Refreshing notes of the Melon were pitted against the muskiness of the crumbled Goats’ Cheese, and the crunchy candied Walnuts paired wonderfully with the Parma Hams’ nutty, slightly salty flavour.
As we’d been munching away, one of the team checked that we were happy with our food, as well as checking that we were ok for refreshment. Looking around the restaurant, we weren’t the only ones enjoying our meals; smiling faces and laughter could be seen and heard all throughout the restaurant. On the adjacent table, one of the young children had a tomato sauce smile from his pizza all over his chops and, as he smiled over, my heart melted…must be going soft in my old age!
For her main course, I honestly thought Mummy was going to go with the Chalk-stream Trout (£25.95) or the TT Ratatouille (£17.95), but no, she followed suit with the two of us and had the ‘Bit of Both’ (£18.95): Derbyshire roast Beef and Barlow’s Hall farms Turkey with Mash and herbed Roasties, Yorkshire Pud and glazed Vegetables. Cauliflower Cheese is available as an extra for £5.95, so we added a portion of that, too.
You might get a single slice of each meat, but blimey they are massive slices! When I unfurled my slice of medium/rare, slow-cooked Beef it just about filled half the plate; looking at it, I would say there was easily 4oz there, maybe a shade more, and it was the same with the creamy Turkey breast meat. On the plate with the meat was a sky-scraper of a homemade Yorkie that had an incredible taste to it, intensely fragrant roast Parsnip and Carrot, possibly the smoothest mash you’ll ever encounter and a trio of beautifully herby roasties – yum!
The shredded, Cumin-pimped Savoy Cabbage was in a separate bowl, and the Cauliflower Cheese came in a handled Copper pot, which ensured it stayed hot to the last bite. Without exception, everything was delicious and cooked fantastically well to ensure we experienced maximum joy from it. Fans of Cauli Cheese will savour the version that Chris serves: he retains the vegetables’ crunch, blankets it in a rich, creamy Cheese sauce and tops it with fine crumb so that you get that irresistible golden crust… and a dish that leaves you wanting more! Something you might want to limit yourself on is the fresh Horseradish sauce – it really made mine and The Mans’ noses tingle with its deliciously pungent heat!
Mummy Bird was the only one of us who showed a modicum of restraint and didn’t order pudding. In all honesty, our bellies were full but the lure of more scrumminess was too strong to resist; basically, we’re just total gluttons who wanted to scoff even more marvellous food – that’s the long and short of it, really. However, don’t think that Her Ladyship is the model of virtuousness: a second spoon was requested, and she was soon pilfering some of my Rhubarb and Apple Crumble with Clotted Cream Ice Cream (£7.95). I had to laugh though, as we were soon both doing uncannily accurate Hyacinth Bucket/Patricia Routledge (Keeping Up Appearances) impressions, our eyelids fluttering with the fruits’ tartness as it hit our palates! Balancing the sharpness was a delectable, crunchy crumble topping that had a super sweet edge to it. Adding a wallop of indulgence was the perfect quenelle of Clotted Cream Ice cream -oooh, this was sublime.
His Nibs had ordered the last Madagascan Vanilla Crème Brulée and Sudbrook Raspberry Sorbet (£7.95) and he smiled contentedly as that ‘thwack’ came when he hit the caramelised sugar top, tasting the irresistible burnt toffee taste. Underneath this swooningly sweet top was a luxuriant crème that was flooded with smooth, mellow Madagascan Vanilla; so much so, you could discern tiny dark flecks of the seeds against the pale crème. Served in a separate pot was the jewel-toned Sorbet and this was a bright and clear-tasting as if it had actually been Raspberries you plucked off the bush there-and-then and popped in your mouth.
Throughout our visit, the TT team had taken great care of us (as they had all of their guests) and so Hot Wings are happily given for the Sunday Roast at The Tickled Trout in Barlow. Needless to say, after we’d paid the bill, we simply rolled out of the restaurant like a trio of Weebles! Happy Weebles, though, so all was good.
The Tickled Trout is closed on Mondays and opens Tues-Sat for lunch service Noon-2.30pm and dinner service 5-9pm, and Sunday Noon-4pm. To book a table ring the TT team on 0114 289 1111 or visit the website www.tickledtroutbarlow.com
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