The Talbot Stoke-on-Trent Review

Everyone knows the script of a country pub, a place where you can have a social mooch with a large selection of beer, ale, wine and hard liquor is available in the realms of rural-ness, where you can, indeed be fed. The Talbot in Biddulph Stoke-on-Trent is just that, it looks the part and was recommended to me by folk who were born and raised in Stoke. Inside, it looks the part with it’s chequered carpets, rustic wooden floors and reclaimed structural timber. It’s a definition of homely. So onto the food.

The boss goes for chargrilled lamb koftas £5.50 with tzatiki and a mound of dressed foliage. Oddly there was rust coloured sweet chilli sauce of sorts drizzled on there too, well if that pushes things along why not.

Soup with rustic bread was part of the festive £19.95 two course menu.

More of that rustic bread came with my pert scallops with chorizo served in a pool of paprika blushed oil – that’s a lot of action for £7.95 in my eyes. I found myself dipping that slightly warmed bread into the oil, scraping the remnants of caramelised chorizo from the base of the cazuela dish.

First of the mains came the hand made lobster fish cakes with bouillabaisse sauce, boiled broccoli and new potatoes £11.50. I shan’t comment as I didn’t try any.

The boss’s mum went for the hand carved roast turkey with lemon & thyme stuffing with bacon bits, a Cumberland pig in a blanket and other festive dinner trinkets.

From the specials, I spotted the slow cooked beef rib £14.50 – of course I had to have it. I got a compelling plate of sticky red wine reduction, and enough broad shouldered beefiness to give a two-finger salut to the frigid weather outside. I found myself forking away at the fall apart beefy fibres and dredging eat bite in the viscous gravy. There was a good slab of decent bubble and squeak to soak up rich splendour and honey roasted carrots bring an agreeable sweet balance.

I finished with the crumble of the day £5.75, a tooth-achingly sweet, belly cladding apple and blackberry number with Bird’s Original custard. It’s what pudding is about in a country pub to take away the sting of cold wind outside.


When did I go? Dec 2018
The damage: £30/£35 per head with drinks
The good: There is some success to be had with the food here, my scallops banged and so did that fall off the bone short rib.
The bad: What really let the pub down was the calamitous service, it took 25 minutes before we even got served for drinks. Then when they came another 25 minutes later, they belonged to another table. The poor women serving we’re running around in despair – it was painful to watch, they were in desperate need of attention and direction. If they’re got their sh*t together then life would be better at The Talbot.
Rating: 3/5
Would I go again? When in Stoke.

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