Thirst things first – get the beer in. Tim Taylor Landlord, Woodforde’s Wherry and Greene King IPA were all on, with Adnams Broadside temporarily off the menu. The Wherry was especially good.
The current selection of fifteen main dishes was on a blackboard, most being around the £10 mark. I went for Lamb Tagine while Jane chose the Wholetail Scampi. Service was friendly and attentive and despite the pub being heaving (with drinkers as well as diners) the food quickly arrived. Now, I love lamb but there’s always the chance you’ll get the chewy, fatty variety. Not here – it was melt-in-the-mouth perfect and loads of it too. The tagine sauce featured mushrooms, peppers, olives and apricots and the accompaniments were rice and a selection of perfectly cooked vegetables. If I was being hypercritical I’d have preferred the sauce to be stronger tasting but that really is nit picking.
Jane pronounced her scampi superb, the crispy exteriors giving way to succulence inside. The creamy tartar sauce was obviously home made and the salad simple but delightful. The chips were of the skinny kind and Jane likes hers fat by choice – though they tasted fine.
Onto the puddings (£4.25). Jane’s pavlova with mango and raspberry coulis was enormous – a great mound of meringue and cream which the coulis struggled a little to cover. If Jane likes her chips fat, she loves her meringue chewy and this really hit the mark. My banoffee pie with ice cream was of much more modest proportions; a rich toffee sauce sat on a layer of banana reclining on a biscuity base. This is another dish which so often disappoints and The Chequers showed just how to do it right.
Jane summed up the meal with the words “a cut above” – this is pub dining of the highest class. It’s well worth visiting the pubs website (www.chequerspampisford.com) because they do lots of special nights such as seafood (monthly), curries, pies and puddings. On Monday evening, you can have pie and a pint for just £8.