I’ve been trying to work up a nice backstory, some humorous and/or intellectual patter for this blog post, that seeming to be what reviews should be about. Ben is a great fan of AA Gill, who seems to write about everything but food for the first seven paragraphs of an eight paragraph review. But as I personally prefer AA Milne and it’s Wednesday evening and I’m tired after a long day at work trying to look busier than I actually am and thinking up wedding related puns for a colleague’s impending matrimony, I hope you will forgive me for mostly just talking about food this time around.
Having wined and dined (lunched and beered) with my dear old friend Phoebe at the Unthank Arms a few weeks ago, I was naturally thrilled to have the opportunity to repeat this whole Sunday lunch shenanigan when my slightly less old but equally dear friend Cynthia came to visit this past weekend. After careful deliberation, we selected as our target The Mulberry on Unthank Road. We arrived somewhat hot and flustered, having powerwalked from my house, running late due to rather too much lingering over breakfast and the obligatory allotment tour. Our waitress, however, was completely unruffled by our lateness, our sweatiness and the fact that I had several stalks of rhubarb protruding from my backpack, and we were soon seated in the lovely light dining room.
The atmosphere at the Mulberry is a nice combuination of a relaxed pub-café vibe, and an attention to detail which makes everything feel a little bit special. I say this mostly because, having recently discussed how nice it is when your fancy beers came in the correclyt branded fancy glasses, Ben and I were pleased when our Adnams Dry Hopped Lager (which is super delicious, by the way) came in vessels labelled the same. We’re easily impressed, clearly. Our waitress also made sure to check that Cynthia realised her own order of ginger beer was, in fact, non alcoholic, our Cyn clearly having the look of a hardened drunk about her.
All three of us opted for the roast – Ben and Cynthia for the beef, and I for the nut roast. Three enticingly laden platefuls arrived. All came with an impressive selection of vegetables that set them apart from your bog standard pub roast: alongside roast potatoes and baby carrots were spiced red cabbage, creamed leeks, and kale. To my meat-eschewing tastebuds, this selection of sides could almost be a meal in itself. Nut roast is a much maligned foodstuff, and often rightfully so – I’ve had more than one sad, pappy slice of defrosted vegetarian afterthought in my time. The one at the Mulberry, however, was lovely – clearly homemade, with nice big crunchy pieces of almond and hazelnut. Ben and Cynthia reported that their beef was slightly overdone for their liking (I think Ben has probably been spoiled by the still-mooing slab of roast beef that he devoured a few months ago at the Earlham Arms), but the profusion of delicious sides made up for it. All our meals came topped with a funny little hat of slightly flat Yorkshire pudding, which we all preferred to those huge bloated specimens that are all air and dry bits and disappointment. The homemade horseradish sauce was also a nice touch.
And then, the desserts. OH THE DESSERTS. Ben, predictably, plumped for the brownie with white chocolate ice cream. It sounded fairly uninspiring to me, but judging by the rapturous expression on his face and the one bite he begrudgingly let me try, it was anything but. Unable to choose, Cynthia and I shared the chocolate and amaretto tart with cappuccino ice cream, and the strawberry cheesecake. Both were scrumptious, but the chocolate tart was the star. The intense flavours of dark chocolate and amaretto were perfect with the strong coffee taste of the homemade ice cream. It was so rich we struggled to finish it between the two of us, but I courageously forced down the last bite so as not to waste any of this true masterpiece of pudding.
Completely stuffed, we waddled away happy, not only with the food but with the price – the Sunday roast is pretty good value. Which would almost tempt me to go back next Sunday, were it not for the ever lengthening list of places to review which I have been lying awake worrying about ever since starting this blog (if the definition of worrying is chuckling gleefully and cartoonishly licking one’s lips).