FAYRE & SQUARE are potentially one of the most family orientated restaurant chains and, as expected, they came up with some of the more inventive new dishes and ideas. Every effort has been made to try all of their new additions but time, money and the odd festive menu got in the way. All pictures were taken at The Star restaurant on the A370 near Congresbury. So here’s what we made of their latest seasonal menu:
One of the biggest recent trends has been the American classic, BBQ Pulled Pork, and now Fayre & Square have added their take on it in the form of Pulled Pork Bites. These bites are coated in a crispy, breadcrumb shell with BBQ Pulled Pork in the centre. There’s only four bites per portion which serves as a very small starter but the Pulled Pork tastes like it should which makes it more authentic. Alongside the bites there’s an accompaniment of salad and extra BBQ Sauce. Worth trying if you’re a fan of BBQ Pulled Pork but if you’re after a hearty starter, this is way off the mark. Price: £4.19 (Deal Price: £3.50)
A more traditional starter that Fayre & Square have incorporated into their menu is the Crispy Chicken Strips. It’s nothing special as it is the standard Chicken Goujons which everyone is probably aware of. There’s five Goujons per portion and again this is served with salad and BBQ Sauce. The thin and crispy goujons were quite tender but a little dry at times. But the BBQ Sauce solved the problem and for a no nonsense starter, or for you chicken lovers, this is probably the starter for you. Price: £3.99 (Deal Price: £3.00)
Fayre & Square are potentially the best chain restaurant when it comes to serving pies and their new Steak & Ale Pie is no exception. In keeping with the Northern tradition, this dish comes with Mash, Peas and Gravy which supplements the really crusty Pie perfectly. It almost tastes home-made as the Steak is exceptionally tender and easy to chew on. It’s also well covered in the Gravy, even more so when you pour the extra Gravy on top, which prevents the Steak from tasting dry which can sometimes be the case. The Mash is very creamy and flavourful and offers something different to plain old Chips. The only negative of this dish is that there probably isn’t enough gravy in the boat that comes with it and you should be able to request for more without paying extra for it. But the Pie is absolutely lovely and definitely worth trying. Price: £8.29 (Deal Price: £7.00)
One trend that seems to be sweeping across the chain restaurants this season looks to be a Fishy Florentine. Fayre & Square’s attempt comes in the form of a Salmon Florentine and it certainly adds something different to the Seafood world. The dish consists of Salmon, Emmenthal Cheese and Spinach in a serving dish and you have the choice of having mash or chips with it. The Salmon is soft and tender, as you would expect, but the fishy taste is masked by the Cheese and Spinach. There is an occasional fishy aftertaste but this dish is a rather Cheesy one. If you like your Seafood then this is certainly worth a try but there are heartier and potentially tastier meals on the menu. It is also a gluten free dish. Price: £8.99 (Deal Price: £8.00)
As well as the Steak & Ale Pie, Fayre & Square have also released a Chicken, Gammon & Cheddar Pie. Unlike the Steak and Ale Pie, you only get a slice of this Pie rather than a whole one which is a little unfortunate. As expected, it’s very crusty with the usual soft and tender Chicken pieces you get from good Chicken Pies. However the difference between this and an ordinary Chicken Pie is the addition of chewy, charred, salty Gammon. The two meats actually accompany each other quite nicely and this is arguably a meat-lover’s dream pie. The melted Cheese sauce is also a good bonus with any dish and just adds to the flavour to help this really nice Pie go down. Like the Steak & Ale Pie, this comes with a jug of Gravy to complete the Pie dish. This is definitely a Pie worth trying, it’s something different and something that works really well. You’ll just want the whole Pie. Price: £7.49 (Deal Price: £6.00)
The one area that all chains look to improve upon and try to be unique in, is the Burger department. With everyone selling Burgers, it’s hard to stand out but Fayre & Square’s attempt comes in the form of their new Ultimate Burger. The enticing name aside, this Burger comes with an added minced Gammon Patty which is something that only Fayre & Square have incorporated before. The Gammon is reminiscent of the Gammon Burger that was part of their ingenious Piggy Platter. So if you liked that, you’ll certainly like this new Burger. The Cheese slice and Salad actually makes this taste similar to a Big Mac though which although may sound like a cheap dish, does mean that this does taste nice albeit slightly familiar to a Fast Food Chain. The difference between the two though is that this Burger Patty is much thicker and juicier. The salty Gammon does add a differing taste and the Bun is a soft Brioche roll which is certainly the Bun of choice for a lot of restaurants at the moment. It’s chosen largely because it doesn’t fall apart like other buns which prevents a frustrating mess. The Fries also tasted a little like McDonald’s style fries but without all the salt. It’s probably not the Ultimate Burger but it certainly is a nice, no thrills, Burger idea with a unique addition to it. Price: £9.49 (Deal Price: £8.00)
This is where Fayre & Square have been at their most inventive with some really ingenious creations. Their new Sticky Richard combines two classic desserts, Sticky Toffee Pudding and Spotted Dick, to create a whole new taste sensation which works really well. It has the same Spotted Dick warm sponge but it’s covered in an indulgent Treacle style Sticky Toffee sauce. It’s surrounded by a moat of Custard to complete this perfect pud line-up. So if you’re a fan of either of the two traditional puddings, then this amalgamation will definitely meet your needs and finish your meal off perfectly. Price £3.99 (Deal Price: £3.50)
Even more inventive is their enticing Brownie in a Mug. For the fans of aesthetics, this dessert, as it suggests, comes in a mug. It looks like a battered tin can but the twist is that it’s actually a ceramic mug cleverly designed to look that way. The Brownie is warm and at the bottom of the mug. It’s a soft and spongy Brownie that’s topped by Ice Cream, mini Marshmallows and an Oreo Cookie. It’s a really nice sweet tooth dessert and definitely worth trying. Perhaps the only negative to this dessert is that it’s hard to get the spoon down to the bottom to make sure all of it is scraped out. You definitely don’t want to miss out on any of it. Price: £3.99 (Deal Price: £3.50)
One of the things that Fayre & Square do well compared to other chains is their Sharing Desserts section. A lot of chains did offer the double-up Sundae, but, as you’d expect, Fayre & Square took it a stage further and put more thought into it. They’ve created an Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich and a Giant Custard Cream Slice and unfortunately we could only get round to trying the latter. Taking inspiration from a dessert favourite, the Vanilla Slice, this dessert uses a slab of Vanilla Sponge instead of Custard. There is Custard in the middle and also an additional pot to cover the dessert even more. The cake is topped with White Chocolate pieces, Custard Curls and pieces of Custard Creams to give it that famous biscuit-style taste.
Alongside the Cake and added Custard, you get a handful of chopped Strawberries. But these were slightly hit and miss. The ones that came on our plate were soft and mushy and not very nice. But we were then given some more, without even asking, and these were fresher and much nicer. The sponge was really soft and the taste of Vanilla was really sweet. The Chocolate topping, Custard Curls and Custard Cream pieces all added a bit of a crunch to this really nice cakey sharing dessert. Price: £7.99.