A couple of week’s ago my friend, Sammy and I went for dinner in Alsager. We both went to school together, so go waaay back, and have kept in touch over the years and still quite often hang out together, whether it be at a festival, girlie holiday or just eating noodles and making a memory scrap book (oh wait, we still need to do that last one…)
We wanted somewhere local to eat, and I knew of a place just ten minutes down the road from Sammy’s house in Haslington. So I booked us a table, drove to pick her up and off we went.
The Mere Inn is a little pub on the main road in Alsager. From the outside, I’m not going to lie, it looks like a bit of an old man’s pub. Don’t get me wrong, a very well presented old man’s pub, but it doesn’t look like much… until you get inside.
As you walk, in it’s instantly welcoming. We went on a Thursday night and it was busy with locals at the bar and had about half the restaurant full of diners. We ordered our drinks then were promptly shown to our very quaint table for two, next to the window overlooking the lovely, very well presented outdoor terrace (although sadly it was too rainy to sit outside!)
The lovely chap who served us, Oli, told us they had a new summer menu – so we sat down to ponder it and it soon became apparent that we were spoilt for choice.
Being the savoury Queen that I am, and seeing this black budding hash on the starters menu, I decided I had to go for it. I would have a starter, and a main, as to not be too much of a fatty. Sammy, on the other hand, opted for main then dessert, again, as to not be too much of a fatty.
I went ahead and ordered the black pudding hash, complete with a perfectly cooked runny egg and smothered in homemade brown sauce. Such a little mound of deliciousness that was seasoned to perfection, had some lovely texture and looked brilliant too. Overall a cracking dish for a starter.
For mains, and after a fair bit of deliberation, I went for the chicken kebab with pitta, fries, salad, mint yogurt and mango chutney. WHAT a feast!
The chicken was so tender, juicy and packed full of flavour. The pitta was soft and fresh and the salad and fries were spot on too. The accompaniments went really well with the dish and gave it a little bit of an Indian takeaway vibe which I loved. Overall an absolute corker of a dish, and for the price was so reasonable too for such a generous portion size!
Sammy’s main was absolutely gorgeous too. She opted for something a little bit different for her, admitting she usually always goes for a burger. She went for the homemade lamb moussaka that came served with a big Greek salad and was layered with sliced aubergine and topped with cheese finished under the grill. Again, the portion size was fantastic and there was so much flavour from the spices and the slow cooked minced lamb, it really was a treat.
After letting our tummies have a break, we took a sneaky look at the puddings. Sammy already knew what she was having – homemade sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce…. THE DREAM! As I had a starter, I had to refrain, but it did sound amazing. I ordered a cafetiere of coffee for one, and to my delight it came with a little square of homemade chocolate brownie on the side… Which was lovely. Winning at life indeed.
So Sammy’s pudding arrived and it looked to die for. She was so excited so I quickly took a snap and let her dig in… The lovely manager, Oli, insisted on bringing two spoons, and after checking with Sammy she confirmed it was OK if I gave it a try… For reviewing purposes, of course (it really is tough being a food blogger, guys).
I had a mouthful (or two) and can confirm it was amazing. So squidgy and moist and spongy, but still somehow light and not too stodgy. The ice cream really cut through its richness and the butterscotch toffee sauce was literally out of this world! It was so good!
How is an unassuming pub like this on the high street in Alsager making such delicious and well presented food? Impressed is an understatement – these guys are serving up excellent quality pub grub and this was an excellent little find. If you’re in the area or passing, I urge you to give them a try.
Keep up to date with them on Facebook: The Mere Inn, or to make a booking catch them on;
The Mere Inn
01270 879 409