The Fat Italian at Burscough restaurant review: a great value venue for all the family at any time of the day

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It's been a tough time for restaurants in the past few years with enforced closures, social distancing and compulsory face masks making life difficult for a while.

And just when most of them start to get up and running, along comes a cost of living crisis destined to make people think twice about how they spend every penny.

So as we headed off towards the Fat Italian on a windy Wednesday early evening, we were anticipating a quiet meal with only a handful of other hardy souls venturing out.

How wrong can you be?

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The Fat Italian at BurscoughThe Fat Italian at Burscough
The Fat Italian at Burscough

The large car park behind the restaurant was the first clue - we struggled to find a spot - even at 6.15pm.

Then as we made our way towards the entrance, we saw another two groups of people heading the same way.

Opening the door, we were greeted with that wonderful smell of garlic so synonymous with Italian restaurants, a smiling front-of-house manager - and a restaurant packed to the gunnels with people of all ages enjoying themselves.

It turns out that the Fat Italian does some fantastic lunch and early evening meal deals, including any pizza or pasta dish for £8.95 before 6pm - that's a cost of living buster the whole family can enjoy!

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The Fat Italian at Burscough: Mediterranean sea bassThe Fat Italian at Burscough: Mediterranean sea bass
The Fat Italian at Burscough: Mediterranean sea bass

But it is one thing to get people attracted to a deal and another thing altogether to get them coming back time and again as they do, judging by the conversations of people on the tables around us.

All of a sudden we realised we were almost certainly in for a treat - and so it proved.

Despite the busy sight in front of us, we were quickly taken to our table with a couple of menus and immediately offered drinks while we looked through them and the specials board close by.

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The Fat Italian at Burscough: mussels in a  creamy white wine sauceThe Fat Italian at Burscough: mussels in a  creamy white wine sauce
The Fat Italian at Burscough: mussels in a creamy white wine sauce

The drinks came quickly too and the waitress returned within the five minutes promised to take our order.

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We opted to start with a garlic bread and tomato to share alongside scallops and chorizo from the specials menu for me and mussels with shallots, garlic, white wine and cream for husband Bob.

The large scallops were perfectly cooked and melted in the mouth, the chorizo adding spice and saltiness, but not overpowering the delicate shellfish.

Across the table, the mussels were a big hit and the creamy white wine sauce amalgamated with the juice to provide a wonderfully fishy soup, perfect in which to dunk the crusty bread which had accompanied the dish.

The Fat Italian at BurscoughThe Fat Italian at Burscough
The Fat Italian at Burscough

The tomato and garlic bread was unnecessary, but tasted good and was an indication of the quality of the pizzas being served here.

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All good so far and as we watched plate after plate of delicious-looking goodies head to the tables around us we were hoping we had chosen just as well for our main courses.

For me it was Mediterranean sea bass - two huge grilled fillets, along with sautéed cherry tomatoes, chorizo, red onion & spinach, red pesto dressing & balsamic reduction. The fish was excellent and the red pesto and balsamic made a great sauce. A dish full of al dente vegetables and some skin-on potatoes on the side made this a filling dish and decent value at under £20.

For Bob it was the chicken supreme from the specials board. A char-grilled, on the bone breast and leg stuffed with mascarpone, leeks and chives, served on a bed of broccoli and spiced carrot sauce. A portion of fries was requested but wasn't really needed - although he did his best with them as they were too tempting to leave!

We had no room for pudding or the free liqueurs offered by the excellent staff. They never missed a beat despite packed tables and a steady stream of diners as soon as some left.

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The food was excellent and there are some great value options, making this the perfect place for everything from a meal for two to a celebration. We were slightly too late for the early diner offer, so our bill came in at £68 including drinks - still good value for two excellent courses each.

We will certainly be back to give it another try as the Fat Italian is one of those special places which might just end up being a family favourite.

The Fat Italian, Moss Lane, Burscough. L40 4AY

01704 895757

Verdict: 4/5