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Monday, 10 December 2012

The Brook - worth your baubles?

"The pebble in the brook secretly thinks itself a precious stone." ~ Japanese Proverb.

We randomly walked in without a booking on a Friday night. Surprisingly (to me) who doesn't ever travel so north that in the middle of what I perceived to be a land far far away... The restaurant was 1/2 empty at 6:45pm. We were asked to wait for the maitre d' or rather floor manager (lovely lady) who apparently is the only one who can sort out non-booked tables while all of the other staff are nice but clueless as to how the floor was planned that evening and what tables would be free. We were offered a table but only til 8pm. Note my previous comments relating to the 'full status'. Alright we can eat as fast as you can serve.

Another 15 mins later she has readied a table, for 2 instead of the 3 I requested (to two separate people, twice each). She was accommodating enough to pull another chair along and we could squish. Luckily our 3rd turned up and declined to dine, else there'd be no where to fit his plate.

By this point all the staff seems to be running off their feet! And one girl pops by and immediately asks if we're ready to order. Ok we just sat down, no water - we had ordered drinks at the bar while we waited but ... Water?!

Oh and when we were finally ready to order, it was a pain to get hold of someone.

I ordered a lamb with parsnip, sweet potato mash & maple syrup. My firmed had the parmigiana. I wish I ordered the parmigiana. Presentation was ok, pleasant. (Upon reviewing the photo, it does look a lot rarer than I remember). Parsnip was slightly under roasted. The lamb cutlets were cooked well but the original pieces of meat were too gristley. My friend did offer to share a bite of his lovely parmigiana, which looked crispy and the sauce looked well textured. I declined, keeping to the principle that if my dining partner declines to share mine... I really shouldn't pinch his. In reality, I am always afraid that the parmigiana I try will not meet my expectations. I don't ever recall a specific one I've loved, but I tend to search for elusive perfection none the less.

The atmosphere was quite - boisterous. The crowd is what would be norm up around far north. Lovely hearty people - a few young families as well. Lot of Christmas celebrating parties (work?/family).

Outdoor area allowed dining too, which explained why some of the staff tend to disappear without a trace for ages. Ordering a second drink and extra water took over 15 mins, but the bar staff that delivered was quite apologetic about the wait.

Overall rating: 2.5 out of 5, passable food, alcohol prices & general pub ambience - very clean new looking place.

Neko paws: 1.5 out of 5, sorry this is below par on my food scale and far to far out for a second try at food. But for a local pub and people who live around the area it is pretty decent & presentable bar/restaurant for an evening out & not driving too far.

ok I've started the neko paws thing now I've got to remember to continue with this rating scale. It's basically if I'd go back... 3-4 is a chance I will go back. 5 is a definite return neko customer!

 <a href=""><img alt="The Brook Bar and Bistro on Urbanspoon" src="" style="border:none;padding:0px;width:130px;height:36px" /></a>

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