BREWERS Fayre were once again the second chain to release their new Autumn menu, although there’s not too many additions this time around. All pictures of the dishes were taken from the Weston-Super-Mare restaurant.
Perhaps not really that much of a new Starter but Tomato Soup has returned to the menu. Brewers Fayre seem to like changing their Soup with every menu and perhaps Tomato Soup is more synonymous with dark nights and cold days. Served with two pieces of Bread and spreadable Butter, it has that familiar tang to it and that warmth that you can feel going all of the way down. It’s a very safe starter and everyone knows what to expect from it and using Heinz’s figures alone it’s probably the most popular. According to Heinz more households buy Tomato Soup than light bulbs and since 1910 have sold enough cans to travel to the moon and back. So it’s probably an obvious choice from Brewer’s Fayre to release their own here. Price: £2.99.
Another dish returning the Starters menu is their Tempura Prawns. One of the more expensive Starters, six jumbo Prawns wrapped in Tempura Batter are served with a Sweet Chilli Dip. The Tempura Batter adds a nice crunch to the Prawns and is lot a crisper and thinner than other Batters. Again everyone knows exactly what they’re getting with these and the Sweet Chilli adds a little heat to offer more flavour to the Dish. It’s not the biggest Starter and arguably one of the least value for money dishes but they are always popular. Price: £4.99.
Steak is undoubtedly one of the most popular dishes on the menu and restaurants are trying their hardest to jazz it up and sell it in new ways. This usually comes from topping the Steak with something and that’s exactly what Brewers Fayre have done with their new Creamy Steak Diane. Steak Diane has been a common way to top your Steak for a long time so the taste of the Sauce and the creaminess isn’t exactly new. What is new about this though is that this Steak Diane comes topped with sliced Mushrooms and crispy fried Onions. If you don’t like Mushrooms then this probably won’t appeal to you but it you are a fan then you’ll like the watery texture of the Mushrooms combining with the juiciness of the Steak and the creaminess of the Sauce. The dish is accompanied with Chips and Peas which gives this a slightly upmarket feel to a standard pub classic that is Steak and Chips, however being a Steak dish it is one of the more pricier options on the menu. Price: £13.49.
Brewers Fayre are continuing with the Beef theme in a few more of their new additions. They have a real Winter warmer in their new Beef Stew with Horseradish Dumpling. Stews are almost the epitome of Winter meals and are heartier than Soups which makes them even more popular. There’s a slight tang in this Stew from the Red Wine & Redcurrant Sauce which actually goes quite nicely with the mixed Vegetables and Mash Potato which is quite creamy. It’s not the Beefiest Stew with just a handful of tender chunks which meant chewing was rather sporadic. The Dumpling was very soft and soaked up the Stew residue nicely. If you’re put off by the usual burn that you get from Horseradish, luckily there’s not really any taste of it in the Dumpling so don’t let the description put you off of this nice Winter meal. The only criticism you can give is that there’s probably not enough meat in it. Price: £10.49.
Their other Beef dish comes in the shape of a Beef and Doom Bar Pudding. It’s a real twist on the classic Pie and Chips as for starters the Pie is served upside down and therefore becomes a Pudding. Doom Bar has gained a lot of popularity in the South West and is really beginning to grow all over the country however other than the name, there’s no way you could distinctly tell that it was Doom Bar in what is basically a Steak and Ale Pie. The pastry of the Pudding is really soft and the inside just oozes out upon opening it. There is a tang from the Ale and like the Stew, it’s not really the meatiest Pudding either. Again there’s some nice tender chunks of Beef in there but it’s not really consistent enough throughout the Pudding. What is really good about this dish though is the accompanying Cheese and Spring Onion Mash Potato. It’s a real twist on ordinary Mash and you can see the melted Cheese being pulled apart in every bite. It does add quite a Cheese and Onion taste to it and it actually works really well. The meal also comes with Green Beans and another helping of Gravy. Price: £9.99.
For the Vegetarians out there, there’s the new Feta & Red Pepper Quiche. It’s also a really healthy meal because with the slice of Quiche you get half a plate of Salad. Instead of Chips you also get boiled Potatoes with Butter. It’s probably not the biggest dish out there but it is quite flavourful and not eggy which can usually put a lot of people off of Quiche. It’s a very soft Quiche without a crispy crust. The Red Pepper does offer a different and crunchier texture to the Quiche which keeps the taste buds alive. The choice of boiled Potatoes over Chips is also seen as a healthier option so this is worth a try if you want something lighter and better for you. Price: £8.99.
There’s not too much ‘newness’ to the new desserts that Brewers Fayre are bringing to the table either. They’ve brought back a classic pudding that’s always been a favourite in Sticky Toffee Pudding. It’s exactly how you want a Sticky Toffee Pudding, a slight darkness to a nice, moist Sponge. It comes with a jug of Custard that’s actually a decent size and really surrounds the pudding. It’s not exactly special and you know what you’re going to get with this pudding but it doesn’t stop it being a classic, and a very nice one at that. Price: £3.99.
Every menu, Brewer’s Fayre seem to include a different new Crumble. Last menu it was Apple and Cinnamon and this menu is Apple and Salted Toffee. The size of the dish is still the same as is the jug of Custard you get to pour on top of the Crumble. This will gain popularity as Crumble is always a favourite anyway and it’s taking advantage of the Salted Caramel/Toffee trend. The Apple is sliced rather than diced which means you don’t necessarily get Apple throughout the Crumble if you pull a whole slice out at a time. The Salted Toffee does add a darker taste to it but it’s not particularly Salted which will be perceived positively or negatively depending on how you feel about Salted Toffee. It’s a nice twist to your ordinary Apple Crumble but there’s not really too much difference here. Price: £4.49.
The only Egg free Dessert on the menu comes in the form of their new Winter Berries Cheesecake. You don’t get the biggest slice of Cheesecake which is rather disappointing and it doesn’t come accompanied with anything like Cream or Custard. The Cheesecake tastes very creamy and gets a nice crunch from the Biscuit base. It’s topped with a fruity Winter Berries compote which adds a sharp tang to it which opposes the creamy Vanilla flavour nicely. If you’d like a small Dessert to round your meal off then this will probably be the one for you but others will be unhappy at the portion size here. Price: £3.99.