“The latest Simon Rimmer project is all about families and fun. It is by the seaside after all!”
Been to all Simon’s places they are generally very good. Local produce with quality fittings. The Viking (Pub and Bakehouse) in West Kirby on the Wirral keeps up the tradition in spades. The Flame and I went on an adventure, the objective (as always) to end up with a decent pint and a good feed. A couple of train rides including a trip under the Mersey had us leaning on the railings, breathing in the wonderful sea air overlooking the sweeping sands of West Kirby. Its heady stuff. That said it was a 3/4 mile, uphill, fifteen minute walk inland before the freshly painted Viking homed into view. It’s a fine sight though. Like its local counterpart, The Elephant (reviewed here) it is liberally adorned with smart, simple, painted branding.
It had only been open couple of weeks as we arrived for a bustling Saturday lunch. We hadn’t booked. Thankfully the youngster who greeted us prodded the iPad for what seemed like an age before finally declaring there was a spot available. As there was only two of us we finally took our place on the last table for six!
It’s a big place, essentially there is a huge bar in the middle surrounded by wood based, Scandinavian influenced furniture. It’s a smart fit out. A viking ship is moored outside for the kids. Its very family orientated, and why not?
The place is manned by a platoon of check shirted youngsters. Our enthusiastic waitress Lucy was quickly on hand to guide us through the process. A Five Point Brewery pale ale soon had my thirst quenched as we sifted through the wipe clean, branded menu booklet. Its full of standard favourites and includes a decent pizza choice. It majors on brunch too, in fact its fair to say it’s a blinking good menu with plenty of decent choice.
As its name suggests a worthy note is its bakehouse. The Flame’s hummus starter (£4.50) served with a raft of hot buttered, herby, charred flatbread soon confirmed that this is no gimmick. It was truly spectacular, probably too much as a starter, but gorgeous nonetheless. I had chargrilled halloumi (£6.50) which came with even more of it, mingled with onions and tomatoes. Both starters wolfed and loved, though The Flame doesn’t like food served in tins!
For mains I had a perfectly decent ‘Budvar’ beer battered fillet of haddock, hand cut chips, minted mushy peas, tartare sauce (£13). The Flame her standard….fish pie (£13.50). It came loaded with Scottish salmon, North Atlantic prawns, naturally smoked haddock, peas, parsley and a side of buttered greens. The greens were incredibly salty but quickly replaced with a double portion with standard seasoning! The menu suggested a twenty-five minute wait for the pie. It arrived in its own curious little balsa wood tray and an inner sleeve of parchment. A little strange but proclaimed as a beauty by The Flame.
As ever when trifle looms on a menu it has to be ordered. This time a cherry trifle (£5.50). Tons of plump cherries, lashings of cream and vanilla chantilly, Light on sponge but lovely all the same. A decent brew and we were ready to saunter back to conclude our wonderful adventure.
I have to say well done to Simon and his team. They’ve weighed up whats needed and tailored the fit out to the market. Service bright and perhaps a little too enthusiastic at the moment. We were asked about four times whether we were enjoying our food. Perhaps lacking in confidence while its new? But it’ll settle down soon. I reckon he’s hit just about every trend going to ensure it hits the spot and has something for everyone. Its even got tank beer! A great family place, we’ll be going again. We loved the sea side and there’s plenty more delights on the menu to try.
Black Horse Hill
T: 0151 601 1888