Not wild about Wildwood... but the kids sure were

Wildwood in Peterborough city centre EMN-171201-153832001
Wildwood in Peterborough city centre EMN-171201-153832001
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Until Sunday, Wildwood held the distinction of being the only restaurant anywhere near Peterborough city centre in which I hadn’t eaten.

I had met a pal for a drink there once, and the central bar area at the front, with tall stools and more relaxed seating, impressed me - its huge glass frontage offering views across the square.

Brad Barnes dines at Wildwood in Cathedral Square, Peterborough.

Brad Barnes dines at Wildwood in Cathedral Square, Peterborough.

One thing that did strike me, though, was the size of the place - it is like a Tardis, it goes back forever.

But I did like the look of the place - the comfortable booths, the wooden panelling, and slight industrial look.

We popped in after a matinee at the Key Theatre and the place was busy enough... I can’t imagine it ever getting full.

We soon discovered it has a little play area, as we were taken to a table very close by; a little presumptious, as we had given no indication apart from turning up with two children!

Brad Barnes dines at Wildwood in Cathedral Square, Peterborough.

Brad Barnes dines at Wildwood in Cathedral Square, Peterborough.

To be fair I am glad we sat there because the kids absolutely loved it - and still managed to eat their lunch.

The sign over the door bills it as a grills, pizza and pasta restaurant. If I had wanted the latter I would have stopped in one of the five pizza and pasta places I walked past after parking in Priestgate . That said, one of the girls had the children’s pizza and ice cream combo (£5.95) and it was nice and cheesey, with plenty of mushroom on top.

The menu was standard fare for a chain, I guess, with burgers, ribs and steak on the grills, instantly recogniseable pasta dishes and half a dozen or so pizzas - including hoi sin duck - a first.

The specials menu made good reading, and we both ordered the mussels in a tomato sauce with garlic and chili (£5.95).

Brad Barnes dines at Wildwood in Cathedral Square, Peterborough.

Brad Barnes dines at Wildwood in Cathedral Square, Peterborough.

The portion was a decent size and the flesh soft and fluffy. The sauce was not too rich or sweet, with plenty of garlic and chili bursting through. However, quite a lot of the shells were broken, which meant eating the sauce was a little like Russian Roulette -and crunching shells is not a pleasant experience.

I followed up with the chicken and ham white bean cassoulet (£12.50). It was not the prettiest of dishes and the sauce lacked seasoning, but the chicken on the bone and the chunks of smoky ham packed plenty of flavour. The dauphinoise potatoes lacked ooze but were tasty enough.

An unusual selection across the table saw a very tasty - and filling - superfood salad with mackerel (£10.85) arrive.

Plenty of individual flavours were on show - avocado, broccoli, coriander, cucumber, green beans, peas, quinoa, feta cheese and sunflower seeds - all topped with smoked mackerel of course.

Brad Barnes dines at Wildwood in Cathedral Square, Peterborough.

Brad Barnes dines at Wildwood in Cathedral Square, Peterborough.

I can’t say I was wild about Wildwood, even if our smaller diners were, but it was pretty much in keeping with what I thought had been missing.

VENUE: Wildwood, Cathedral Square, Peterborough city centre. Tel 01733 313511 www.wildwoodrestaurants.co.uk

Brad’s rating: 7