Autumn menu at The Wick

The Wick at Both Ends is a firm favourite in my house, especially when it comes to their food… 
With an ever reliable menu, eclectic surroundings and cool cocktails it's the perfect place to while away a few hours either with chums. All the same, after the success of their last 'wick & mix' menu, you might be surprised to hear that things are set to change at The Wick. But the new season brings a new menu and with the autumn nights setting in, it’s good to see some hearty meals return to the menu. I sampled a few of the Wick's new dishes at their recent press launch…
Wanting to give us the best of both worlds, The Wick served up a selection of new wick & mix dishes as a starter before our chosen main meal. Yorkshire wontons were a real hit with the diners. A smaller and lighter version of a pie, each deep fried filo parcel was stuffed with slow braised beef shin delicately flavoured with horseradish and spring onion. Adding to the richness of the dish (wasn’t autumn made for rich, sumptuous dishes?) was a dipping sauce of reduced red wine gravy.

Duck liver terrine was served in decent slabs making it a solid choice for a starter. Served with slightly sweet brioche, some people thought the bread was a little too flimsy to carry the terrine – and perhaps a heavier bread, such as a malted grain, would be a better option – but the sweetness of the loaf worked with the duck.
Mushroom soup was served in tea cups and although dubbed as something that could be shared, some diners weren't too keen on slurping from the same cup as colleagues and strangers. Thankfully the husband and I are quite used to sharing and we could enjoy the soup to its full. Packed with flavour, good and creamy and with a delicious fat crouton (one that I was never going to share) it was everything you want in a soup – even if you might want to keep to yourself!
Next up, we had a mini veg pie, but given the number of meat dishes, it was quickly snaffled by the only vegetarian in the group. Thankfully I’ve had enough of the pies to tell you how good it was just by looking at it! Made with shortcrust pastry, with a top, a bottom and sides, these are how a pie should be and, although the word mini is something I rarely like to see on a menu, it works here as it increases the pastry to filling ratio. Us non-veggies had the decidedly meaty carpaccio of in-house smoked venison and this was my absolute favourite. Four superbly pink slices of venison served with a celeriac remoulade (or a mayonnaise based sauce to you and me)  – another dish perfectly timed for the season.
Moving onto mains, despite the number of delicious meaty options, I’d gone for something lighter with the tilapia dish. A couple of fillets were served on top of a spicy new potato and celeriac salad with mixed leaves. The fish, which is naturally light in flavour, had been marinated in curry leaves, garlic and ginger giving it a delicate flavour. It was perfectly cooked, with the meat flaking away at the touch of my fork. The potato salad was especially good, packed with gentle curry spices, enough to give flavour without any real heat.

The husband kept things autumnal and went for the partridge which was served in a sweet beetroot and bramble sauce and thoroughly enjoyed. Other popular options on the table included the chicken and squash tagine. It was a large portion but quickly devoured demonstrating just how tasty the dish was. Lamb neck & colcannon looked particularly good with a large portion of the meat (cooked on the bone) served in the red wine and herb sauce it had been cooked in. Old regulars of The Wick will be glad to know that ham and eggs is still on the menu, but the addition of chips has moved it into the mains section, meaning that you now longer have to share this one!
I was suitably stuffed by this point, but it was difficult to decline the option of strawberry cheesecake for dessert and I shared a slice with the husband. Its deceptively thick base was surprisingly light and the topping was thick and creamy. Vanilla pod seeds and a layer of strawberry tucked in between the base and topping gave the dish its flavour and it was a good way to round the meal off.
With wick & mix dishes priced at £3.95 each or 3 for a tenner and mains priced from £5.95 to £8.95 this menu is excellent value for money and the quality of the ingredients and cooking sets The Wick apart from any other bar or pub on the West Street strip.

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