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“Unpretentious atmosphere with great food”
Review of Pea Porridge

Pea Porridge
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Lunch, Reservations
Reviewed 12 February 2011

Just wanted to counter some of the recent reviews with my opinion... I went last night with four friends and we were all delightfully surprised with the food and the service. It isn't a swept-up place at all, it has the charming atmosphere of a local, good restaurant where the emphasis is on their menu and not necessarily the decor. [We contrasted it to Maison Bleu, which I find a little more pretentious.] Between the party we tried 6 of the dishes and each one was eaten with relish. I found the mackerel and rhubarb starter a wonderful combination, and the venison [which the waiter informed us is served pink] was melt in the mouth delicious. We will all, definitely, be back.

5  Thank pilotswife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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663 - 667 of 703 reviews

Reviewed 7 February 2011

I've had the pleasure of eating at Pea Porridge a couple of times, firstly having been guided there by this very site.. I've always been too lazy to write a reply but having seen a few of the recent ones I wanted to have a go.

I'm not sure if some of the negative reviewers actually got lost on the way and ended up somewhere else but everything I have ever tried in this restaurant has been 100% FANTASTIC!!!... not just nice but truly FANTASTIC...

The service is always really friendly and relaxed and the atmosphere is wonderful. I noted that there were some grumblings about "being sent to Cannon St. Brewery" for a drink, I however would encourage anyone (especially those from out of Bury) to leave EARLY specifically TO go there and sample some of the fine beer... the partnership the two have struck up is an ASSET to them both.

In short.... GO... EAT... ENJOY and get Pea Porridge back to number 1 where it belongs!!!!

Ross :)

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4  Thank Cambridge_Ross
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2011

We arrived early and were greated and seated warmly, pre-dinner drinks arrived promptly, frankly the service was faultless from start to finish. But the food did not live up to the menu description, the ingredients used fell well below the the quality i would expect from this type of restaurant. i.e cuttlefish rubbery and tasteless it tasted like baked beans on toast, pheasant, dry and the sauce was old - a re-boil from the weekend, bland and dull.
The Pork cheak was mush and bland, I'm sorry but the kitchen must raise its game.
PS don't clean the freezer and have all the items spilling into the corridor during service!
All the positive reviews and guest comments before will no doubt stand you in good stead but saving money by cutting corners on a tuesday after two days off will definitely be your short coming.

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3  Thank MC601
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2011

Echoing an earlier review on here, regarding being "turned away", we experienced the same. Arriving at 20:25 for a table booked for 20:30, we were asked to go across to the Cannon Brewery for a drink, and to return at 20:45, as our table wasn't ready. This we did, reluctantly, as there is nowhere to sit and wait, to enjoy a pre-dinner drink.

Re-arriving at 20:45, we were hurriedly sat down. Coats were reluctantly taken from us, and it appears most of the other diners had theirs on the back of their chairs. We were asked if we would like a drink, and my girlfriend ordered some sparkling water. I wanted a bottle of wine, and so opted to look at the wine list. Some 15-20 minutes later, the waitress re-arrived to take our food order, at which point she had to be reminded about the wine!

Wine took a further 10 minutes to arrive, and starters arrives shortly after. We had both ordered blackened Nero cod cheeks, with saffron mayonnaise. Blackened, yes. But with absolutely no flavour whatsoever, and what flavour there was, was a little like the charring that you get on a burnt marshmallow. The saffron mayo did not serve to add to the flavour, and it was not evident that there was saffron in it at all, barring the expected colour.

During a brief "interlude" between courses, I feel that the toilet facilities need to be mentioned. For men, there is one single cubicle, and an adjoining basin. To get to this, you need to go into a covered courtyard, which is where a large amount of cooking oil containers were being stored.

Back to the main course, which was, if anything, nothing more than simply ok. Certainly not worth the money paid, but edible. Thankfully it's a good job I don't mind my venison rare, although this was certainly under-cooked.

Not wishing to stay for desserts, we decided to leave at this point. Albeit, the bill was paid, but did not feel remotely happy enough to leave a tip.

After several reviews, and what looked an exciting menu, my expectations were high. However, I am not convinced as to how this restaurant has made it into the AA Good Food Guide. Very, very disappointing.

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10  Thank Charli_and_Dave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
justinsharp, Owner at Pea Porridge, responded to this reviewResponded 31 January 2011

From the first moment you walked in through the door, we could sense that your mood was not a happy, relaxed one,
Your table was ready at 8.30pm, the time you booked for, sorry it was not ready earlier.
We do not have a lounge area for a pre dinner drink, its a shame, we are small, but when people arrive early and the table is not quite ready we recommend The Old Cannon conveniently located just across the road, for a pre dinner drink, to which almost all are delighted to do so.
It bothered you that other diners want to hang on to their coats, and put them on the back of their chairs. They can do so in our restaurant, if they choose not to have it taken and hung up. Cant see what the issue is there!!!
I dont know what your expectations of us were, but we are a small neighbourhood bistro, not some pretentious fine dining establishment.
When we asked if you were ready to order, your response was not a pleasant one, however, we took your food and wine order together, and brought your wine immediately, there was no ten minute wait as you put.
The tempura nero cod cheek, demonstrates the simplicity in our food, and is a best seller on our menu, and it creates a great talking point, as to the deep dark coloured tempura.
And it is not charred. Why did you order this dish if you had a problem with the black batter (tempura nero).
You said that the toilets needed to be mentioned, which you did, but why did you mention them, what is the point you are trying to make? Where we keep our used oil drums is nowhere near the toilets, certainly not an obstacle in your pursuit of our must be mentioned toilets.
The fillet of venison that you mention that was undercooked, and just ok and not good value, seemed to disappear from your plate and when asked if you enjoyed it, you responsed it was delicious.
As i put earlier, you seemed ill at ease all along, from the first step inside our restaurant.
I do not know what expectations you had of us, but whatever they were we did not fulfil them, as absolutely everything was not to your standards.
We have received fantastic critical acclaim from the major guides recently. Being rated by the AA and the good food guide, and also being voted UK best newcomer by Hardens and receiving a Bib Gourmand by Michelin,(awarded for great food at moderate prices).
Its a shame that we could not do anything for you to enjoy the "Pea Porridge" experience, as so many others do, time and time again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2011

We have visited this venue for over 20 years due to its pleasant ambience and its ability to serve interesting vegetatian and wholefood meals of good quality and value. It has now changed hands.....

Now that it has tried to move upmarket it fails to be of good value (even though it is not really expensive)...The menu now strikes one as being interesting but slightly pretentious. . . ...Whilst it was well presented the cooking was acceptable, though not of superior quality; -some dishes were over seasoned (The fish could not be tasted though its garlic sauce!) Only one vegetarian dish which unmemorable.

In all it seemed to be overpriced and the food did not live up to its reputaton in the current guides.

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5  Thank daveat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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