When it comes to British cuisine, I really don’t think we give ourselves credit for the marvellous morsels we’ve concocted over the centuries.
There is always a place for a pie (just wait until my next post!) No one can deny the comfort of a humble crumble; and did you ever meet a soul who could pass up a scone?
When it comes to classic British grub, comfort is key; it has the ability to turn those missed-the-bus-stepped-in-a-puddle-then-ran-into-my-ex kind of days around; pulling you into the warmest and most familiar of bear hugs simply with a piping hot plateful. But apart from your family kitchen, where on earth can you muster up such a feast?
Sam’s Chop House is something of an institution in Manchester; a worldly wise pub, it’s the kind of place you can pop in for a quick pint and leave hours later with six new best friends. It’s THE pre-match destination, where all kinds of folk gather to share high spirits and guzzle down a bevy or two; but you’d be a fool to think that this place is merely just a watering hole for sports enthusiasts.
I wandered into Sam’s on a particularly miserable Saturday afternoon; the place was packed full of Rugby-enthusiasts, keen to get in a pint in before kick-off, warming the cool, cobbled surroundings with friendly jeers and hearty guffaws.
I wedged myself through the scrum, desperate to find salvation from the storm outside in the form of a hot meal and a round or two with my ma and da.
You can pre-book to be served in the separate dining room, but if it’s atmosphere you’re after, I recommend sticking where the action is, pulling up a pew and choosing from the more limited but carefully crafted bar menu.
We chose from a selection of classic platefuls and meals with a modern flair. Keeping things simple with Roast Beef and Horseradish sandwiches;
Simple and satisfying; buttered bread, tender, meaty cuts of beef and lashings of horseradish for a smoky kick.
Fish and Chips
The nations favourite, you’ll be served a sizeable beer-battered whiteling rather than cod which offers a flaky yet more meatier white fish. Sensational against the crackles of crisp, golden batter and irresistible when combined with a dollop of their homemade tartar sauce. Served with mushy peas, softly sharpened with a liberal vinegar drizzle and proper chips.
Sam’s Famous Corned Beef Hash
THE reason for my visit, their Hash had been taunting me on social media and has been the talking point of a fellow foodie friend for several months who insisted I make time to try.
A large patty, packed with pulled beef brisket, rich in succulent meat flavours and softly boiled potatoes. Thick chewy bacon rinds sit atop of this masterpiece and is topped off with a perfectly poached egg, whose yolk drips through the pulled brisket pooling into a river of golden nectar.
The brown sauce accompaniment gives the dish an added sweet, tart taste without losing the traditional flavours. Simply superb and a sure fire way to improve your day when you’ve spent the afternoon battling with your brolly against the wind and rain of King Street.
Pre-book if you don’t have the luxury of a free afternoon, but if you’re happy to while a way an hour or two, I rather enjoy the post-entry scramble for a decent seat. The friendly locals will happily share their table and there’s always room to get merry while you wait.
Well, what are you waiting for? Chop to it!