Iwas a little surprised when I heard the Dog In A Doublet had won the Peterborough Telegraph’s Pub of the Year award, but only because I considered the riverside venue much more than a pub.
Since former MasterChef competitor John McGinn and wife Della took over the establishment, which overlooks the Nene on the back road from Peterborough to Whittlesey (although the address is Thorney) it has earned something of a reputation for its food.
And, on the evidence of lunch there at the weekend, deservedly so.
The Peterborough landmark has, it must be said, been transformed from a rundown, empty shell to a comfortable countryside pub-restaurant befitting its geographical location since the couple took over.
The interior has some nice comfy seating and sofas for drinkers in the bar area ( there is also a bar menu) and the spacious restaurant area has a farmhouse kitchen feel with big wooden chairs and tables.
It is also pleasing, and perhaps a sign of the chef’s belief in what he does,that there is an open kitchen.
There is a set lunchtime menu (two courses for £10.99, three for £15.99), daily specials on the board as well as an a la carte, and we availed ourselves of them all.
The set menu is restricted as you might expect but more than adequate,and, as it turned out great value.
My Welsh rarebit (one of three starters on offer)was a treat. Nice crisp edge to the bread, tasty melted cheese and a great dollop of pickle. It tasted as good as it looked.
There were half a dozen or more main course options, and I went with a gastro pub classic - the pulled pork slider. A nice soft bun, great tasting meat,and plenty of it (which put paid to plans for a dessert). It came with a little bucket of seasoned, crispy fries, which I liked and kimchi (a Korean pickle with anchovies), which I didn’t care for.
Another gastro classic for Donna to start with: beautifully soft panfried scallops with that crispy little golden glaze adding a texture, a smooth Charles MacLeoud black pudding, sweet pea puree, caviar and a crunchy bacon dust... nicely presented on the biggest plate ever!
Her main also looked stunning. Mouthwatering, pink in the middle sesame steak (although no one asked how she wanted it) and a flavour packed salad with red onion, lemongrass and coriander giving it some, succulent green papaya and lashings (perhaps too much) Thai dressing. A great taste though.
John and Della promise “the craft and care you’d expect from fine dining in the warm surroundings of an English local pub ” - which with friendly, efficient service, decent prices (not to mention morish home-made crisps) sums the place up perfectly for me.
BRAD’S RATING: 9
VENUE: Dog In A Doublet, North Side Thorney, Peterborough PE6 0RW tel 01733 202256 www. doginad.co.uk email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pan fried scallops/Charles MacLeoud black pudding/pea/caviar/cauliflower/ bacon £7
Black sesame tempura whitebait/korma mayo ..£6 Crispy wings/sweetcorn/choice of sweet lips bbq or hot smack me kitchup ...£6
Pan fried chicken livers/lambs kidneys/devilled wild mushrooms/cornbread toast ..£6
Fish and chips– Cod Loin and skin tempura/D chips/samphire/tartare/Barry Normans pickled onions/preserved lemon...£12
Moorfarm burger/brioche bun/scrumpy rarebit/salad/hardcore coleslaw/herby fries....£14
24hr lamb shoulder/shepherds pie sauce/potato puree/cheese and chive hash/pea medley ..£18
Sesame beef/red onion/lemongrass/baby kale/mint/coriander/Thai dressing/green papaya/peanuts...£16
Red Mullet/aubergine, pepper and basil dressing/dauphinoise/lobster bisque/red sorrel.....£17
The Dog In A Doublet also does a set lunchtime menu, kids’ menu, tasting menu and Sunday roast menu - for more details go to www.doginad.co.uk