Northwich GuardianFox and Barrel (From Northwich Guardian)

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Fox and Barrel

Northwich Guardian: The Fox and Barrel The Fox and Barrel

I’ve heard the song “Roll Out the Barrel” but my latest foray into the world of restaurant reviewing left me rolling out of the barrel after indulging in a feast of fine food.

Waistbands had to be much loosened after a very tasty two-course meal at the popular Fox and Barrel in Cotebrook, which suffered a troubled start to 2008.

The Guardian gave the restaurant rave reviews in September 2007, but it closed suddenly and mysteriously shortly before Christmas.

Fortunately for the restaurant-lovers of mid Cheshire, new owners took over in 2008 and I am pleased to report that the whole dining experience was a delight. My companion and I were presented with a full menu on arrival and decided to skip starters after having a sneak peak at the desserts on offer, which are well worth saving room for.

I opted for Thai red chicken curry with coconut rice, while my companion ordered the all-time classic fish and chips. Both dishes were well presented and a good portion size, although maybe a little on the large side for us as we only have small appetites. However, the food was so delicious we found we could not stop eating. My dish featured a portion of chicken breast that was melt-in-the-mouth tender with delicately flavoured rice, crisp veg and a spicy and flavourful sauce. My companion’s beer battered haddock was superb – light crisp batter and chunky fish – with tasty hand cut chips and mushy peas.

Then, after I downed an orange juice to cool my mouth (that curry was spicy), we ordered desserts. I went for Cotebrook blackberry and apple crumble with custard, which was spot-on. The custard came in a separate jug – very important if you do not want your dessert smothered and soggy – and the crumble itself was the perfect mix of fruity and crunchy. My companion decided on the unusual option of blackcurrant and liquorice ice cream, which had a surprisingly strong and refreshing flavour.

Our bill, which also included a pot of tea, a cappuccino and two orange juices, came to £39.30. The curry was £11.95, the fish and chips £10.95, the crumble £5.45 and the ice cream £3.95.

Service was excellent – staff were friendly and attentive without being overbearing. The restaurant itself was clean, cosy and comfortable, it was definitely a great place to hole-up on a chilly autumnal evening.

I would recommend booking a table as the Fox and Barrel can fill up quickly.

How it Rated: Quality of service – just right; Value for money – worth paying that little bit extra; Ambience – warm and cosy without being too fussy; Quality of food – faultless; Speed of service – just right.

This is the latest in a series of editorially independent reviews of the food offered by Mid Cheshire pubs and restaurants. It is the honest opinion of the reviewer.

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