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Porterhouse by Barlows
Annesley, Nottinghamshire
01623 757580
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Dinner With Friends At Porterhouse By Barlows, Annesley


Published On Sunday 23 Jun 2024 by Sticky Beak
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The Man Bird and I consider ourselves blessed to have the friends that we do, and love nothing more than going out and catching up whenever schedules allow. On this occasion we were meeting up with Mr and Mrs Tree Hugger and Sons; they like a good slab of meat as much as we do, and Mrs T is one of my fave tipple buddies. 



We’ve known the current managers, Reece and Laura, for a while, having first met them when they were insitu at The Shepherd’s Rest in Lower Bagthorpe; a lovelier couple you couldn’t wish to meet, and when it comes to running a business, they run a tight ship. Combined with a great team and top-quality meats, we knew we were in for a superb gastro experience. From the moment we walked in the door to the moment we left, everything had run like clockwork; we’d been greeted warmly and were bid goodnight and safe journey home. But I’d best tell you about the minutes in between; after all, that’s what you want to know!



The restaurant is located over two floors and we were seated downstairs, straight across from the open kitchen – both a blessing and a curse! I love seeing the hustle and bustle of a kitchen team at work but, by golly, the aromas were driving me nuts as they drifted over; my mouth was watering like one-o and my tummy rumbled hungrily. As if to add insult to injury, the dishes that the serving team were taking past us looked phenomenal.



Mrs Tree Hugger is probably the most restrained of the group when we dine out and decided to have the House Bread with Mixed Olives, Garlic Butter, Olive Oil and Balsamic Glaze to start (£8.50). The rest of us just went for it: me and Tree Hugger had the Garlic, Chilli, Lemon AND Paprika King Prawns on toasted Garlic Bread (£8) and His Nibs had the Sundried Tomato and Mozzarella Arancini with Rich Tomato Sauce and Pea Shoot Garnish (£8).

We’ve known the current managers, Reece and Laura, for a while, having first met them when they were insitu at The Shepherd’s Rest in Lower Bagthorpe; a lovelier couple you couldn’t wish to meet, and when it comes to running a business they run a tight ship. Combined with a great team and top-quality meats, we knew we were in for a superb gastro experience.



Before too long, our starters were being placed on the table and we all eagerly tucked in. Oddly, Mrs Tree Hugger doesn’t like Olives, so the large bowl of them got passed over to me; you’ll get no objections here! Thankfully, she did like everything else on her plate and wasted no time in dipping pieces of the fresh bread into the pot of softened Garlic Butter and the bowl of Oil and Balsamic. Mr T and I both loved our King Prawns; they were plump, juicy and beautifully sweet, augmented by the piquant combination of citrus, Garlic and Chilli – nom nom. His Nibs was a smitten kitten with his choice of golden, lightly crispy outered Arancini, and was smiling with every mouthful. Mozzarella’s mellowness was given some oomph by the intense sun-dried Tomato, and the sauce was equally rich and flavoursome. 



Our lovely server had checked we were enjoying our starters and returned a short time later to retrieve a quartet of clean plates, something that I saw Reece had noted from his position in the kitchen. The restaurant had been fairly lively when we’d arrived, but it was properly buzzing as the evening wore on - when I went upstairs to use the lavatory, I noticed that all the tables had been taken.



For mains, we’d all opted for steaks; don’t panic if you don’t eat red meat, there are Chicken Skewers, Salads, Pasta dishes and burgers to savour, too. Mrs T had her favourite, Sirloin (£27 for 10oz), The Man had his Barlow’s favourite, the 16oz Jurassic steak (£26), and Tree Hugger and I went for the 16oz Porterhouse steak (sirloin and fillet cuts, separated by the bone, £30). Without exception, each dish had been cooked absolutely perfectly as requested, and the flavour of the meat was second-to-none: hardly surprising when you think that Barlow’s rear their own meat!



All of the josper oven-cooked steaks come with slow cooked Herby Tomato, Flat Mushroom, red wine vinaigrette-dressed Red Onion, Rocket and Watercress salad, and Paprika and Oregano Chips which, trust me, is more than enough to satisfy the keenest appetite, but if you fancy something else there’s a large selection of sides. Ever the glutton, His Maj ordered some Cajun, Beer-battered Onion Rings (£4.50); FYI, he didn’t manage to eat them all!


As far as memory serves, I can only remember one other time where, despite scoffing away for Britain, the dish in front of me didn’t seem to be diminishing. I knew I was chomping through the steak as I was getting serious meat sweats (not very attractive, I know, but I’m being totally honest here folks!), but there was still over half of the meat left!! It absolutely killed me, but I had to admit defeat and ask for the remainder to be boxed up for me to take home. Just in case you were wondering, it was still as tasty the next evening in its re-incarnation as a steak and onion sandwich for supper.


Every good steak needs backing up with scrummy chips/fries and I have to say that the Paprika and Oregano ones are something rather special. These delights have possibly the thinnest, crisp and crunchy outers known to man, and the inners are comfortingly soft; the spice and herb combo has the palate on high-alert, and they really were a superb partner to the top-quality meat on our plates.


Yet again, the serving team had checked we were happy with our food and got us sorted out with some more drinks and another chilled bottle of water for the table. I had been hoping to grab a chat with Reece, but he was being kept busy and out of mischief in the kitchen! It’s a good excuse to go back another time though, maybe to try the Sunday roasts on offer at Porterhouse by Barlow’s? 


Do y’know, I’ve forgotten to mention the sauces that we’d also ordered to go with our steaks (all £4)! The Man went for Peppercorn, I had the Stilton one, and the ‘Huggers had Pancetta and Ale Gravy – how marvellous does that sound?! All of them came in white sauce boats and you got a good portion, too; none of this measly dribble malarkey! Each one was super-flavoursome and a nice unctuous consistency that meant you could confidently dunk a chip in, safe in the knowledge that it wasn’t going to drip onto your clothing.


Usually, we all manage to demolish a pudding, but not this time! Tempting though the sweet treats were, our tummies just went “No!”. I can tell you that the ones that were going out to other diners looked amazing, just in case you go and find yourselves with room for dessert.

Needless to say, Hot Wings very happily awarded to this fab Annesley Woodhouse venue, and huge thanks to Reece, Laura and their team for taking such good care of us all – we had another memorable evening out. Thanks, too, to Chef.

To book a table - which I would advise, especially at weekends - phone 01623 757580, or visit www.porterhousebybarlows.co.uk and hit the reservation button. You can also see details of their steak nights and opening times on the site.


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