Wednesday 17 April 2013

Sunday Dinner at The Beagle Chorlton.

I was one of the first bloggers to go to The Beagle. In fact it was my first proper restaurant review back in December. I really liked it. See here.
Since then they've tweaked their prices slightly especially for on line bookings. This is because I think they may have been struggling to persuade Chorlton-ites to pay those slightly higher prices than they're used to. Chorlton is definitely drinks led market rather than food. So cheap-eats do really well, whereas slightly more expensive places don't seem quite so busy.

With this in mind I think it's a mistake to separate diners as they do. You can have a quiet dining room but a bar area that's really cramped and full. Especially as it's such a strange space with few seats for drinkers. However with (hopefully) summer coming up, they have a lovely terrace out front which should balance this out somewhat. They get the evening sun which will be a lovely spot to sit and drink the fantastic beers they have on. I would still move to make all seats available for drinkers; get bums on seats and they may well eat later on.

 So anyway, we returned for Sunday dinner. I'd forgotten how nice the dining room is, it's been decorated with some thought and taste. The hand painted signs and bird illustrations are beautiful. The small details are effective, like the flowers, and crockery which are willow pattern and retro 1970's in style, (or is it 50's?) plus of course the beagle logo.

I was looking forward to this. We took Mrs Bacon's family, one of which was over from Australia. We had promised the 'Best Sunday Dinner in the UK over at Parlour, but changed our minds as we've recently been there, and the meat's all from Frosts anyway we argued.
We turned up at The Beagle at midday.
I'd also forgotten about the complimentary Bread and dripping, we all enjoyed that immensely.

We all ordered The Beef. It came with hardly any gravy on the plate. The Yorkshire pudding was not quite as good as crispy or as big as the one at Parlour. They were more generous with the roast potatoes though and these were nicely done, plus you got creamy mash. This reminded me of school dinners, but in a good way. (I was a 'good eater' then as well.) Sadly the meat was quite chewy. What a real disappointment this was. Honestly it was like elastic. The flavour wasn't lacking but it was all pretty much the same in texture for us all. I know this, as like the human dustbin I got the relatives cast-offs. The meal as a whole was also too dry. We asked for more gravy; a small jug came for all five of us. Still not enough for me. I want my dinner swimming in the stuff, so the food is like a desert island in the middle. It was dry, way too dry. The veg was all good though and the service was really lovely.

 But in the end, I couldn't help feel slightly disappointed, I had high hopes, but the Sunday dinner just wasn't as good as at Parlour for me, as the emptier restaurant attested to. Though to be fair it was still quite early. However over at Parlour (partly because of the no booking policy), there is a rush to get a table at midday. At 5 past there are no tables left.
The price was also slightly more than Parlour which is £11.95 for Sunday dinner whereas The Beagle is one Course for £13.50. I think this is overpriced for what you get. For me, they'd be better putting it at around the £10 mark.
It has to be said though all the relatives enjoyed it, I think it was just that it has high expectations to maintain from our previous visit that sadly weren't quite met.
Having said all that, I will definitely return to The Beagle for the main menu, (especially the Pork Belly). It remains one of the best restaurants in Chorlton and still one of my local favourites.

Price: In my opinion it's slightly over-priced for Sunday Dinner.
Service: Really good & very friendly.
Food: Good generally.
Star dish: The Beef dripping.
Score: 5/10.
 The Beagle on Urbanspoon

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