The Lounge Bar and Restaurant in Much Hoole review: Kitchen staff hailed superheroes for tackling Sunday lunch two chefs down

It can’t be easy when two chefs call in sick on the day the Dining Out column and its Spiderman grandson are about to make a clandestine visit.

By Brian Ellis
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 4:55 am

In such circumstances delays for diners are inevitable and a drop in quality can sometimes be expected.

So when we heard they were short on kitchen staff at The Lounge Bar and Restaurant in Much Hoole, we wondered if this was going to be a day when Murphy's Law - anything that can go wrong will go wrong - was ready to be obeyed in the full glare of the media.

Not so, although the swan-like serenity of the serving staff probably hid some frantic paddling below the surface by those juggling pots and pans.

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Slow cooked beef pie was topped with garlic and chive mash.

Maybe the service was a little slower than we would have liked and there were a couple of glitches with the food. But we've had much worse from kitchens with a full complement of people in stripy pants.

Our party comprised three adults and one hungry four-year-old. Thank the Lord then for an iPad and a good supply of Spiderman films to match his outfit.

The Lounge is what used to be Lang's of Longton. It changed hands only a few months before Lockdown One and so this was our first visit since. The place hasn’t changed much – it is still the place to go in the area if you fancy getting dressed up.

Grandson Ted took a glance at the kiddies' menu - two courses £9.95 and three for £13.95 - before his mum said: "Pasta and fruit salad for him please."

The Lounge Bar and Restaurant in Much Hoole.

He was straight back to fighting "the bad guys" as the three of us poured over the adult fare - a lunch menu with two courses for £17.95, a homemade sushi list at £7.50 a roll and an a la carte selection ranging from £6.25 to £9.95 for starters and mains up to £32.95.

All a touch on the pricey side for me. But, as they say, you get what you pay for.

Mrs E and eldest daughter opted for the set lunch menu. The boss decided on chicken liver parfait with toasted ciabatta and red onion marmalade, followed by peppered chicken with skinny fries, peas and rice. Both were flavoursome and substantial.

Katie went for a pickled beetroot and goat's cheese salad, which she described as "delicious," and then got stuck into a full Sunday roast beef. The nod of approval said it all.

The pickled beetroot and goat's cheese salad for starters.

I plumped for the a la carte and chose smoked haddock and salmon fishcakes to start, with a poached egg and a cheese and chive Mornay sauce (£8.95). If I’m honest the dish was a touch too salty.

Now I like a good pie, but it has to have a pastry crust to command that title. Imagine my face when instead the "slow cooked beef pie" (£17.95) arrived with a golden brown topping of garlic and chive mash.

The strips of slow-cooked beef were glorious and the sauce divine, but I couldn't help feeling cheated by the lack of shortcrust or flaky.

Ted, or was it Spiderman, ate everything, hardly taking his eyes of the screen. So, all things considered, I’ve got to say the staff did a superhero job battling through Sunday lunch with two cooks missing.

Ted's fruit salad was as pretty as a picture.