We pass The Caley Sample Room often. Alex goes to the cinema at Fountainpark and I play poker at the casino. I’d always thought of it as a bit of an old man’s pub, not that there’s anything wrong with an old man’s pub, it’s just not the type of place I want to eat. I was surprised when I walked through the door that it’s not that kind of place at all, it was very airy with a modern interior, and not a whiff of stale beer.
During the refurb they have created a bar area and a restaurant. We unwittingly chose a booth which was more in the bar area but it was a nice comfortable spot by the window.
As well as a full menu there was a set daily menu. The dishes looked good, certainly leaning more to gastropub than pub grub.
Alex went traditional and healthy for his starter, he’s still on a weight loss push at the moment (a stone and a half down!). The day’s soup was Carrot and Coriander, as you can see it was a big portion that would work perfectly on it’s own for a lighter lunch.
I ordered the Scallop, Black Pudding and Chorizo which was served with a sweet potato puree. The scallops were really well cooked and the chorizo cut through the sweetness of the puree and scallops.
The Sea Bass was a nice light dish, two fillets served with new potatoes, seasonal greens and lashings of caper butter.
I don’t tend to opt for the pie but my original choice was unavailable and I fancied something hearty. There was some debate about whether it actually constituted a pie (pictured at the top) as it wasn’t fully constructed of pastry, it was more stew with a pastry top but I still think it passes in my book. The sauce was rich in flavour but the beef could have done with a bit more slow cooking just to break down the meat a bit. The sides of new potatoes and mange tout were perfectly cooked.
We were quite full after our main courses so shared one dessert. The Sticky Toffee Pudding was tempting but we ended up with the Lemon Meringue Cheesecake. Italian meringue sat atop a lemon cheesecake base. The cheesecake filling was a little over set, but the flavour was still good. The Italian meringue was perfect, truth be told I could have eaten a bowl of that on its own!
The Caley Sample Room
Location: 42-58 Angle Park Terrace
Good for: an informal lunch or dinner