Tuesday, 4 August 2015

The Wicked Lady gastro pub - Wheathampstead, St Albans


When we we attended the Hendrick's Gin Fling a few weeks ago, we thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon at The Wicked Lady. I'd been before - it's actually one of my mum's favourite pubs, so it's a regular stop for birthday dinners - but as I hadn't been for a while, it was nice to spend some time there, especially on a lovely warm summer's day.

After our gin masterclass, we were treated to a meal by the team at The Wicked Lady, and it was wonderful. It's a true gastro pub, with a huge menu which puts some skilful twists on classics (while doing other classic pub fare really, really well). In my view, it's all about the food here - this isn't a pub that you go to for a few drinks and then grab a burger from at 9pm, this is a place you go to for an excellent meal and maybe stay for a few drinks afterwards. That's not to say that you can't go for just a few drinks and no food, but why WOULD you?

Aaanyway. Let's look at some photos of delicious food, shall we?


Starters:


This is oak-smoked chicken liver parfait with toasted brioche and a balsamic chutney, and Matt ate it all up. He gave it a solid thumbs up (I'm not a big pate or parfait fan so I didn't try it).

But THIS is beech mushrooms in a white wine and black garlic veloute with a poached egg and pistou brioche (like a garlic bread swirl) and it went into my face. It was delicious - the creamy sauce was so full of flavour, I had to force myself not to lick the little pan clean.


Next time I go, I want to try either the Somerset Brie, deep fried in a pumpkin seed crumb with apricot and cumin chutney, or maybe the Bury black pudding potato cake, with a poached egg and spinach and whisky hollandaise (whisky hollandaise? Whaaat?). And Matt has his eye on the crayfish and crab pot, or the sloe gin smoked Severn & Wye salmon. I don't eat fish, but the idea of sloe gin smoked salmon even made me say 'Ooooh.'

Despite the pretty fancy menu (and great quality food), the starters are pretty reasonable with most around £6 or £7. The tamarind glazed lamb ribs are the most pricey item at £9.95, but doesn't that just make you want to know what they're like? I've never had lamb ribs before...

Mains:


This was a tough call, and looking at the menu again now I'm kicking myself for not trying the duck leg confit and waffle. Instead, I had the guinea fowl kiev, on an apple courgette and sage rosti with a mushroom and spinach sauce because it sounded different and intriguing. It was! It was kind of like a deconstructed kiev - rather than the garlic sauce being inside, it was spread all around the plate, which was quite nice. The kiev itself was breaded with a bone in, which gave the meat a lot more flavour and I loved the rosti. So goood.

Matt had slow-cooked pork belly and seared scallops, with sticky ginger beer glaze, crackling, Bury black pudding, mashed potato, green beans and apple & vanilla ketchup. I KNOW, all the things. I tried a little of the meat and it was sooo tender. He really loved it all. Clear plates all round!


The mains are a little more on the expensive side - the pork belly was £18.25 and the kiev was £14.50, but they were huge portions and beautifully cooked. This is great quality food, not your standard pub fare, and I don't mind spending a little more when I feel the food is worth it. Some of the mains are under a tenner though, and you can even get pizzas for about £12 each.

I'm keen to go back to try some of their salads (the crispy duck one in particular), and their chicken, ham hock, mushroom and Madeira pie. Oh, and also their dessert menu, which looked amazing but we didn't have any room free! I will be back for that salted caramel chocolate pot though, mark my words.

Thanks for spoiling us rotten, guys! We'll most certainly be back (not least because I had to guiltily admit to my mum that I went without her). Have you been or are you going? I'd love to hear about your food (because food is my favourite topic)!

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1 comment

  1. I go here with my parents when I'm back home sometimes - the food you had looks amazing! x

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