The other Friday evening, I decided to head to a different area for my latest restaurant review rather than Manchester.
This time, it was to the leafy suburbs of Bunbury, close to Tarporley in Cheshire, a place I personally love (and a place I always want to go back to, and stay at Peckforton Castle again, full review of that gem here).
The Yew Tree is a 19th century country pub and restaurant set in the idyllic village of Bunbury, in the heart of the Cheshire Countryside. They’ve recently been taken over by The Chester Racecourse and have undergone a refurb, so I was eager to see what the place was like for it’s atmosphere, food and friendliness.
When we first arrived, the place was bustling and filled with locals. It was warm, inviting and had that lovely cosy vibe which was warming and welcoming. Everything I love about country pubs and eateries was right there in-front of my as I walked round to the restaurant area.
Wooden beams, low ceilings, unique decor and that friendly ambiance.
We sat in the restaurant area which is set away from the busy bar side of The Yew Tree, so it was a little more quaint and peaceful, away from the bustle.
I spied a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet on the white wine menu, and ordered a bottle for us to share while we browsed the menus.
I was pleased to see that from first look, this place offered your favourite British cuisine, those hearty classics, but with a modern twist. For example, Beer Battered Haddock and Beef and Ale Pie graced the mains menu, but you also got Herb Crusted Cod, Baked Aubergine and Tomato Gratin, a Rib Eye Stake and a Lamb Rogan Josh.
Starters were pretty impressive for a place I thought would rely mainly on homely pub classics. I spied Ham Hock Hash, Mackerel & creme fraiche pate and Cheshire Cat steamed Menai mussels, but I ended up going for the Severn & Wye smoked salmon tartare with capers, shallots, lemon & saffron aioli and fennel wafers.
My boyfriend went for the Chicken & mushroom vol au vent with truffle cream, and both starters came out with a super impressive presentation.
Definitely a starters menu and presentation I would expect from a premium city based restaurant, so it was lovely to see this being served and offered in a warm traditional pub and restaurant.
The above dish is the Smoked Salmon Tartare, which was full of flavour, a dense texture, and beautifully presented.
The below is the Chicken & mushroom vol au vent with truffle cream, which had a soft pastry and rich creamy sauce.
Again, perfect presentation, delicious taste and ideal portion size…
I decided to go for the Lamb Rogan Josh for my main course, which is slightly unusual for me, as I rarely go for lamb. However, when this was presented in front of me, I knew I’d made the right choice.
The lamb was melt-in-the-mouth, infusing well with the spicy Rogan Josh. Lots of rich tomatoes and a slight kick to it.
The homemade chutney by far was the winner, as it included chunky pineapple and tasted amazing when the poppadums were dipped into it!
Martin went for the Pan-fried seabass, with Thai steamed mussel broth, sticky rice and pak choi. The seabass was really enjoyable – fresh and tasty, with that touch of Thai spices. Plus, the mussels gave it a real unique finish.
The fish was cooked to perfection, and it worked perfectly with the Thai seasoning from the mussel broth and the texture of the sticky rice.
And of course, there was room for dessert! We chose the homemade carrot cake, with an orange and lemon frosting. This was a sweet fluffy sponge with just enough frosting to not overkill it, and fancy little carrot slices and raspberries dotted around the plate.
A lightly spiced, warming carrot cake that I could have easily had another portion of – oops!
Overall, I was super impressed with the premium feel of both the menu and the presentation of the food. The rest of the place has this local, friendly and warm pub vibe, which is pretty much what we all love! However, the restaurant takes it a step up, offering a more luxury dining choice yet letting you experience the feels of a country pub.
Starters range for £5-£13, and mains £8-£23, so it really depends what type of meal you’re after. But overall, the prices are reflective of the quality you get, so in my opinion its well priced.
A huge thank you to the team for having us – we thoroughly enjoyed our visit!