Dining out review: King Street Kitchen, 73 King Street, Whalley, Clitheroe BB7 9SW

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The Ribble Valley is blessed with an abundance of enchanting eateries, but perhaps none quite so charming as King Street Kitchen in Whalley.

This delightful French-influenced bistro may only be petit, but as I discovered on my first visit recently, its dishes pack a flavour so grande you may find yourself exclaiming vive la Whalley!

As its name suggests, the bistro is located in Whalley’s main thoroughfare of King Street, and is one of serveral eating and drinking establishments occupying this smart sweet street.

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Looming large over everything in this delightful town are the ruins of the 13th century Cistercian abbey. The Cistercians, a branch of the Benedictines, who hailed from near Dijon in eastern France, made Lancashire their home and no doubt provided sustenance for its grateful residents over many years.


And so it is with King Street Kitchen – a place where tradition is so obviously important to the owners Maurice and Mark.

Dining with my partner Andrea, we chose from a small but varied menu that carried strong Gallic favourites including of course, French onion soup.

I actually opted to start with the king prawn and Manx queenies gratin, coming as it did with confit leeks, Gruyère cheese, with a lemon and herb crumb. The texture was soft, delicate and incredibly tasty. Just what you want from a starter.

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Other starters available highlighted the versatility of the team. Tuna yakitori with an Asian slaw, soy, sesame and yuzu; devilled chicken livers with madras, rum and toasted brioch, as well as baked woodland mushrooms provided a cosmopolitan culinary touch.

King prawn and Manx queenies gratinKing prawn and Manx queenies gratin
King prawn and Manx queenies gratin

And so to the mains.

I opted for the pan roast chicken – a beautifully cooked chicken with mushrooms, grapes, tarragon, as well as a pate crouton and sherry veloute. Chicken can sometimes be a dull dish if not blasted with overbearing sauce, but this was neither.

The combination of flavours worked perfectly, and it managed to be delicate but filling.

Again, defying convention, was my partner’s choice of main – a salad, but not as you expect it. As the name suggests, this ‘piggy salad’ comprised of trotter croquette, maple and fennel bacon, black pudding, ham hock, conift belly, scratchings, new season potatoes, candied walnuts and, again with a nod to the French, a Beurre noisette dressing.

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This was a salad cum mixed grill with panache. I couldn’t resist poking my own snout in the trough of my partner’s dish, in between my own mouthfuls of chicken.

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We opted for one starter, two mains and one dessert to share.

The final offering was the pièce de résistance. A choux bun, accompanied by biscoff cremeux, coffee ice cream, hazelnut price and smothered in a decadent chocolate sauce. Revenge was sweet for Andrea who dived into the dessert with eager spoon.

King Street Kitchen is a lovely intimate setting ideal for all sorts of occasions, whether a romantic meal for two, a family celebration or simply a treat for yourself.

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