Dining at Cookhouse & Pub, the latest Oldbury food destination.
A cold dark night in January is a great time to try out a warm and welcoming restaurant. Situated on the same site as a Premier Inn, this is exactly the sort of place you’d love to roll into at the end of a long hard day working, visiting or just having been on the road. When you walk in, you’re met with a pleasant blond wood styling, as though you’ve stumbled across someone’s country homestead.
We were seated immediately, and noticed that although the place was very busy indeed – no unoccupied tables we could see – the noise level was pleasant, and staff were purposeful rather than hurried. Great design makes you feel that you’re in your own cosy dining corner, in our case by an open hearth. We had a warm welcome from our server, and time to browse the menu together with the specials board.
The menu is comprehensive, with a range of breakfasts (including an all day version), lighter meals and grazers (from which you can build your own plate) as well as more substantial mains. Here you can also enjoy a dedicated lunch menu, a choice of flatbreads or a traditional Sunday roast, with the vegetarian option of a rather lovely sounding cauliflower cheese tart.
A prawn cocktail was exactly what it should be, being full of crisp lettuce, plump prawns, just the right amount of sauce and some great bread alongside.
For mains, we chose a rump steak, which was cooked exactly to order, and came with chips, onion rings, tomato, and peas. A peppercorn sauce was a well-chosen addition. From the specials menu, we enjoyed Spanish chicken, served with tomato and basil sauce on a bed of new potatoes. The chicken was succulent, and the sauce beautifully flavoured.
Only one of us had space for dessert, which was a skillet of warm cookie dough, served with ice cream and chocolate sauce. The skillet was emptied rapidly. With one of our party having food allergies, we much appreciated the care shown by staff in making sure that the choices were safe. A large book of allergens was produced, and staff navigated our way through the options to see if meals were suitable. Such painstaking attention to detail is much appreciated.
Special mention has to be made of the staff here. They were unfailingly warm, helpful, efficient and utterly charming. We observed that they were dealing with issues beyond their control, such as a technical hitch with the card reader and staff shortages due to sickness on the night we visited. But nothing of this was visible to diners, and the restaurant team has to be commended for such excellent attention to customer service. We’ll certainly return.