Restaurant review: Eagle and Child, 3 Whalley Road, Ramsbottom, Lancashire

My latest restaurant review took me to the award-winning Eagle and Child in Whalley Road, Ramsbottom, for a late new year treat.
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I say late because the evening my partner Andrea and I dined here was the final Saturday before a no-doubt welcome short closure and break for the staff after their traditionally hectic Christmas and new year period.

With this in mind and expecting a quiet night, I was surprised to see the place virtually full on arrival when we were directed by a friendly waitress to a tall glass window seat with, what I imagine in summer or daytime, afford stunning views down onto Ramsbottom and the valley beyond.

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Two tables that were free next to us were soon occupied. All good signs, as indeed were the good things I had heard from friends who had dined here.

The salt cod Scotch eggThe salt cod Scotch egg
The salt cod Scotch egg

So what then were my thoughts?

First eyes fell, naturally, on the Starter menu, always my favourite being more of a savoury than a sweet tooth kind of person.

I was not disappointed with the choices on offer. Salt cod Scoth egg, which I eventually plumped for, jumped out, as did my partner’s choice of goat’s cheese bon bons.

The menu described the latter as coming with truffle honey and pistachio. They were indeed tasty and full of cheese but perhaps could have benefited from a more generous glaze of the honey.

Steak burgerSteak burger
Steak burger
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My own Scoth egg was also very nice, with a nice runny egg in the centre, adorned with a single slice of chorizo and a red pepper sauce. Other tempting starter options included the torched smoked trout, which came with smoked black garlic, raw apple, celeriac and horseradish remoulade.

Being close to Bury, naturally there was a Bury black pudding sausage roll also on offer, as well as potted confit duck leg, and for vegetarians pressed beetroot terrine with mulled wine jelly, goat’s cheese, waldorf vinaigrette and horseradish.

I will say at this point, there was a longer than expected wait, but as I also mentioned it was very busy so that could be expected.

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The braised short rib of beefThe braised short rib of beef
The braised short rib of beef

Moving onto the mains, there were two main sections of ‘mains’ and ‘classics’. The classics, as you can expect, were more traditional offerings such as haddock and chips, steak and ale pie and the restaurant’s award-winning ‘Double Bomber cheese pie.

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Andrea opted for the steak burger, which surprisingly was listed on the classics menu with my choice of braised short rib of beef. The burger was very good and came with all the usual trimmings of fries, onion rings and pickles.

However, I reluctantly have to say that my beef arrived very lonely on its plate, accompanied by a single carrot, with no green vegetables or potatoes. Priced at £18.95 I thought this was a bit disappointing. I ordered a side of dripping chips, which were very tasty.

The beef itself was nice but not spectacular. It was served with caramelised shallot puree, carrot fondant, pickled baby onions, bacon crumb, port reduction, but alas not enough to fill me.

Having gone slightly above our budget of £60, which included one drink each, we decided to skip dessert.

The Eagle and Child occupies a lovely setting, no doubt even better in the summer, but could have been so much better with more generous portions.