The Wick at Both Ends: Spring/Summer 2015

May 4, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Posted in Pub Grub, Restaurants | Leave a comment
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This review is long overdue, due to my phone going whappy and losing all my photos – including those I took at the Wick at Both Ends’ new menu launch.

Thankfully my phone is now back up and running, so I can (finally) share my thoughts on the Wick’s new spring/summer menu!

The new menu has the same rustic, gastro pub feel of previous Wick menus, although there does seem to be more meat and fish this time around. The Wick at Both Ends haven’t completely forgotten about vegetarians, though – there are a couple of veggie-friendly mains inbetween all the ox tail and kidney pies, sausage and mash, and butter roasted plaice. There’s also a selection of meat-free sandwiches, plus the Wick’s trusty flat field mushroom and goat’s cheese burger, which has been my favourite thing to order there for years. If the Wick ever get rid of their mushroom burger, I’ll be very sad.

One thing I’ve noticed about the Wick’s menus, is that the starters tend to be more adventurous than the mains. The spring/summer menu is no exception, featuring unusual starters such as pan fried calves liver, pickled mackerel, and pistachio and prune terrine.

One starter that really caught my eye was the warm potted crab (£5.50). I love potted shrimp but I’ve never tried potted crab before, so I knew I had to give this a go.

This is a big starter!

the wick at both ends potted crab

My ramekin was jam-packed with lots of fresh and tasty crab meat that had a lovely, velvety texture. If you’re not a fan of strong seafood then you should probably give this one a miss, as the crab is seriously strong.

My only issue with the potted crab is that it’s just so filling! After I’d used the accompanying slices of bread and butter to scrape up every last morsel of delicious crab, I was left wondering how I was going to find room for my main course.

This is such a generous portion that I think the potted crab would work really well as a stand alone snack – possibly after one too many Wick cocktails have given you a case of the beer munchies!

For a seafood fanatic like myself, this potted crab starter felt like the ultimate treat. In fact, I have a few seafood-loving friends who I’m going to drag to the Wick at the earliest opportunity, because I know they’ll love this starter every bit as much as I did.

For my main course, I continued the fish and seafood theme with some Smoked Haddock Kedgeree (£8.95).

This wasn’t just the first time I’d had kedgeree at the Wick, it was the first time I’d had kedgeree ever, so I was really looking forward to trying something completely new.

The Wick’s vibrant yellow kedgeree is certainly nice to look at.

wick at both ends kedgeree

I’d found the potted crab a bit heavy going, but this kedgeree was even richer. This is another massive portion, and the rice is really rich and creamy. Like the potted crab, this is food strictly for those who enjoy strong, fishy flavours.

Even though I was getting uncomfortably full, I just couldn’t stop eating this. The Wick’s kedgeree really is too good to waste.

Meanwhile, my friend had opted for the 8oz Onglet Steak (£11.50), which was another new addition to the Wick’s menu.

After some Googling it became clear that onglet steak is the same as hanger steak, which they’ve also just started serving at the Wick’s sister venue, Anchorage (if you’re interested, Anchorage’s hanger steak is amazing and you can read about it here).

The Wick’s onglet steak has a really intense, rich flavour. If you like your steak, then you need to try this onglet/hanger cut, as it’s stronger and tastier than your average steak.

wick at both ends onglet

The onglet steak came with a stack of chubby, perfectly-seasoned chips, a super-sized serving of parsley butter, and a token bit of greenery in the form of some grilled baby gem lettuce. These are all pretty standard sides when you order a steak, but then the Wick throw a curveball by adding a single battered oyster to the plate.

The oyster was nicely cooked and had a really intense flavour (this seems to be a theme with the Wick’s new menu!) but there’s no getting around the fact that this is more batter than oyster.

Now, I know that for £11.50 you can’t expect such a fantastic steak, fat chips and a pile of oysters, and yes oysters are always going to look smaller with the shell removed – but this single battered oyster did look a bit odd on its own.

wick at both ends battered oyster

Despite mixed feelings about the battered oyster, the onglet steak was well received, and for the price you do get a big plateful of grub and a superb cut of meat.

The Wick’s latest menu continues the tradition of big portions of quality food at reasonable prices, with a few quirky ingredients thrown into the mix. The starters are on the pricier side, but my potted crab starter was worth every penny.

The Wick is one of my favourite places to grab a bite to eat in the city centre, and judging by how much I loved their kedgeree and potted crab starter, this isn’t about to change anytime soon.

If you haven’t already, you can check out the Wick’s new menu online.

four stars

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The Wick at Both Ends

April 17, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Posted in Pub Grub, Restaurants | 6 Comments
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Let me start by saying that I’d no intention of writing about the Wick at Both Ends again (or at least not until their next menu change) but sometimes, a meal is just so good, you can’t resist raving about it. So, following a too-good-not-to-shout-about meal at the Wick with some friends this week, I’m spreading some more Wick at Both Ends love.

After branching out and trying something new on my previous visit, this time I couldn’t resist ordering my old favourite, the Wick’s mushroom burger (£7.95). I wasn’t alone, as two of my friends couldn’t resist the burger menu either, and opted for a pair of beef burgers (£7.95 each).

Whether you’re a beef or a mushroom fan, burger lovers can mix things up with a range of additional toppings, all priced at an extra 95p each. All of the Wick’s burgers come with homemade relish and some seriously chunky chips.

First to arrive at our table, was a double act of beef burgers.

Wick beef burger with bacon

My first burger-loving friend opted for an extra topping of two rashers of bacon (a snip at 95p) and creamy farmhouse brie (again, 95p more). These fillings were so good, they deserve their own close up.

Wick at Both Ends burger

As already mentioned, all the Wick’s burgers come with chips and homemade relish. The chips are chunky enough to be wedges, crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and served in a cute little bucket, while the relish is wonderfully rustic, with that strong tang of fresh tomato, and a spicy kick. Exactly what you want when you’re tucking into a burger!

My second burger-buddy opted for a Y-Fenni Mustard Ale cheese topping (yep, you guessed it, an extra 95p). This cheese had a fiery mustard flavour, although apparently they struggled to taste the ale, which was a bit disappointing.

Wick beef burger

Finally, my mushroom burger arrived – and I can confirm that it’s still pretty much my favourite burger ever. Sometimes, when a restaurant offers a veggie burger, they simply swap the meat patty and fillings for a veggie-friendly patty, but the Wick is one of the few establishments that treats the much-maligned veggie burger as a meal in its own right, rather than just an “alternative” for those who don’t eat meat.

The Wick’s veggie burger takes the form of a whole field mushroom smothered in crunchy celeriac and cabbage slaw. This is the sort of creamy, rustic slaw that’ll have you swearing off shop-bought condiments and Googling “homemade coleslaw recipe” – probably before you’ve even finished your burger! The Wick aren’t stingy with the slaw either, so keeping it inside the burger is bit of a challenge, but it’s well worth the trouble.

Basically, I love everything about this burger.

Wick mushroom burger

But, this Wick trip wasn’t just about pigging out on gourmet burgers and chips, as the final meal arriving at our table was a very intriguing-looking roast cauliflower and broccoli dish, served with a quinoa, radish, almond and new potato salad (£7.95).

Roast cauliflower, broccoli and quinoa salad

The cauliflower did have some burnt edges, but thanks to that deliciously nutty, slow-roasted flavour, this didn’t matter – apparently even the blackened bits were tasty! Who knew the humble cauliflower could taste so good?

Not content with taking one everyday vegetable to the next level, this salad also does something special with shooting broccoli. The shoots were tender, juicy and perfectly cooked, so my friend couldn’t decide which she enjoyed the most: the broccoli or the cauliflower (and how often do you hear someone debating that?)

The quinoa was fluffy, the almonds were toasted and tasty, and the new potatoes brought some satisfying starch and carbs to the meal. These rather random-sounding foodstuffs turned out to be the perfect combination of textures and flavours.

The whole thing was finished off with a dollop of cauliflower puree. Like the roasted cauliflower and broccoli, this vegetable puree is far nicer than it sounds, and is further proof that you can do wonderful things with even the most boring, everyday veggies. The only complaint was that the portion of puree was too small. More, please!

If you fancy a change, this unusual salad is definitely worth a spin. I’d enjoyed my goat’s cheese and beetroot salad during my previous visit, but this looked far more substantial. I’ll definitely be trying this cauliflower, broccoli, and quinoa salad for myself in the future!

The Wick at Both Ends never fails to impress. If you haven’t been yet, then to put it simply: you’re missing out on a great venue, great cocktails, and some truly first class food!

4 and a half

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