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A delightful surprise at the Crooked House

July 14, 2012

My only memory of the Crooked House at Himley is from many, many years ago as a tiny novelty pub (crooked… items “rolling uphill” etc). While working in the West Midlands it was recommended as a dinner destination – the Crooked House of my day had nothing resembling a restaurant.

Still, I was meeting an old friend for dinner so off we set. Pulling in to the car park we were rather sceptical – it was empty… Nothing ventured and all that, so we went through the familiar, crooked little bar and¬†were directed to the restaurant in a new (to me) annexe at the back. We took a table by the window and pored over the menu – containing some very tasty sounding dishes. The waitress took our order and returned shortly afterwards with an amuse bouche – very unexpected but delicious. Drinks and a jug of water were served promptly, it was all looking very good.

Our starters did not disappoint. T had the soup of the day (a vegetable concoction I think) which he thoroughly enjoyed. I went for the Crispy Pig – crispy breaded pigs head croquettes served with trotter scratchings and home made piccalilli. I am not a big croquette fan but liked the idea of the dish and these were far and away the best croquettes I have ever had – just enough potato to hold together the chumks of meat. The piccalilli was very good and the scratchings perfectly crunchy.

On to the mains. T went for the Assiette of Lamb and and I went for the Celebraion of locally sourced Pork. Two enormous servings arrived – T’s assiette included a Moroccan lamb shepherd’s pie, lamb breast and a rack of lamb. I truly had a celebration with my fillet of pork with stuffing, belly pork and black pudding and apple tower. Everything was cooked perfectly and presented beautifully – I did comment at this point that I had eaten nothing off a plate during the evening (wooden boards and slates much in use here).

The main courses defeated us –¬†delicious but just too much to finish – so we didn’t even look at the dessert menu. Coffee served in cafetieres finished off an excellent meal.

The service throughout was prompt and friendly – there really is nothing to find fault with at this gem of a restaurant. I did chuckle over one menu item – “grey pays”. Initially I had no idea what it might be, until T remind me of the local accent… ah yes, peas ;-)

The Crooked House really was a revelation. If I lived closer it is somewhere I would return to again and again.

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