Restaurant review: Whatever happened to service with a smile?

The Shepherd's Inn, Park Road, Peterborough

The Shepherd's Inn, Park Road, Peterborough

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There is nothing like a warm welcome to get a dinner date off to a great start...and this was nothing like a warm welcome!

The waitress, who under duress was sent to greet us at Peterborough’s newish Lithuanian restaurant, The Shepherd’s Inn, was frostier than a January morning in Vilnius. A far cry from my previous visit, it has to be said.

The Shepherd's Inn, Park Road, Peterborough

The Shepherd's Inn, Park Road, Peterborough

“Upstairs” she barked with a face like thunder. So we took ourselves up as requested, made our way to a table and set about finding a high chair.

I did think about leaving, but thankfully someone else brought the menus and order was restored.

And I am glad we stayed; the service improved, even if the language barrier didn’t help with ordering from the menu,the food was good and the kids loved the play area.

It is certainly a quirky place, and looks like no other in the city centre. There a false front as you walk in, a huge tree complete with owl (both fake, of course) and an odd woodland scene complete with moonshiner.

The Shepherd's Inn, Park Road, Peterborough

The Shepherd's Inn, Park Road, Peterborough

It is a bit dark downstairs but nicely set out and comfortable enough.

We dined upstairs which is much brighter and, as mentioned, has a great play area for little ones which we sat adjacent to.

The menu is packed with traditional Lithuanian fayre, lots of grilled meats and stews - with descriptions in English too.

As a starter we chose to share a plate of minced pork filled dumplings (£7.50). A good portion, they tasted lovely and came with a delicious mushroom sauce.

The Shepherd's Inn, Park Road, Peterborough

The Shepherd's Inn, Park Road, Peterborough

The only quibble - it was brought out with the main courses despite being a “starter”.

Previously I had enjoyed the farmer’s stew - beef, pork, rabbit - and went for something similar -described as a spicy pork stew.

It wasn’t spicy as such, but was very nice indeed. Thick, warming and hearty, a terrific flavoured stew with lots of soft chunks of pork and lashings of kidney beans. It came in a hot cast iron bowl with a side serving of gherkins and incredibly crusty bread. Good value indeed at £9.

Donna’s grilled salmon was a fair sized portion, and nicely cooked, but quite plain, even if it did have a little yogurt-type sauce at the side. It came on a huge, plate-filling serving of plain rice with griddled carrots and courgettes. And it wasn’t cheap at £13.

The Shepherd's Inn, Park Road, Peterborough

The Shepherd's Inn, Park Road, Peterborough

The children’s menu was unfortunately not in English and very out of focus, but we managed to order a plate of spaghetti with flavoursome smoky sausages and a morish cheesy sauce, but not cheap at £6.90.

Shame about the first impression, but the food just about made up for it.

VENUE: The Shepherd’s Inn, Park Road, Peterborough 01733 315897

BRAD’S RATING: 7