During a recent week-long stay in holiday hotspot Cornwall, big family dinners out were the norm. With an age range between five and 50 plus as well as diverse food tastes, finding a restaurant that fits the bill for everyone can be tricky. Now I already know that Table Table and the other pub chains associated with Premier Inns tend to offer tasty fodder around my more local haunts, but I was interested to see whether the menu differed greatly or how the quality compared when you swapped the M25 based eateries for something a whole lot more scenic.
One night, we headed to Liskeard Tavern, a Whitbread Inns venue decked out in muted shades of mauve and soft blue greys for a peaceful aura. Ordering a glass of white wine (large of course), I settled down to take a look at the menu. I fancied something protein fuelled, and although steak is usually my first port of call in these cases, I rather liked the sound of the garlic roasted potatoes and carrots that were set to accompany the smoked gammon steak. With this in mind, I thought I’d go for the steak, since I haven’t had this in a while and I always like to have something different when I’m out and about.
When my plate arrived, I was a little bit disappointed by the size of my gammon; cut in a long, thin strip that edged my white, oval plate, it was narrow and also very thin – it would have been nice to be treated to a few more centimetres to make it more of a steak shape. However, it was tantalising griddled with charred cooking lines, the narrow boarder of fat crisped and oozing on the edge of the meat. Gammon is usually a bit harder to cut into, however I didn’t find this a massive problem and I loved the ripe flavours of the steak – the smoky flavourings were more of a gentle infusion and not too in your face at all, simply another layer that enhanced the natural juiciness of the pork deliciously. Despite how thin the meat was, it was still succulent which proves good cooking and the natural cooking style really let the meat do the talking.
The potatoes and carrots were really lovely, oven roasted with garlic for a pungent herb kick that bombarded your mouth with warmth. The potatoes were basically a relation of the classic roastie, so they were nice and crisp on the outside (without nearing burnt status) whilst light and fluffy on the inside for a great texture composition, the garlic really tying the textures together. The carrots added a sweetness and firmer crunch, great when paired with the potatoes. The dish was also served with a flavourful mustard and apple sauce that was a real surprise. It was have looked like a mere chunky apple sauce, however its taste had far more kick, with a sweet yet peppery wallop of mustard that somehow managed to enhance the sweetness of the sauce. Smeared on the gammon, this was simply a match made in heaven! Peas were also present and that is all I have to say about those!
After polishing my plate and helping my hubby with a few of his remaining chips, it was time to pick dessert. I find it very hard to resist a decent sundae, especially if there are brownies present, so when I spotted the rocky road sundae on the menu, complete with marshmallows and brownies – let’s just say I didn’t stand a chance. In a very nicely portioned sundae glass, my vanilla ice cream tower was stacked decadently with gloriously squadgy cubes of chocolate brownie that added a lovely, cakey element and a rich, chocolate flavour. Soft marshmallows balanced on top with a few scattered down below, chocolate sauce drenching the inside of my sundae glass. Topped with a generous swirl of whipped cream and speared with a wafer, this was one of those desserts that is just so simple yet so enjoyable, so it’s difficult to go wrong with such a classic.
All in all, we very much enjoyed our meal at Liskeard Tavern. The service was a little slow at first, especially for a Thursday evening, but the staff were all polite and pleasant. Having an energetic little one in our group caused a few pointed stares from other customers which I found a bit odd but other than that, it was a nice meal. Sometimes you just need a standard, classic menu to see you through.