“No you can’t bring your smalls for a quick spin, but you can get a decent feed”
I have mentioned in a past scribe that The Flame is rather partial to the John Lewis retail emporium in Cheadle. Sharp eyed cartographers will be aware that JL is a mere five miles or so from the ‘fashionista’ foodie haunt of Chorlton. I have had my stomach set on an award winning Sunday roast at The Parlour for some time now but never got in. This day was no exception! so it was a weary and hungry twosome that trundled down the hip thoroughfare of Beech Road in search of some sustenance. To the rescue came The Laundrette.
Set in a corner plot, it makes for an attractive settlement just yards from local greenery. It cut a pleasant dash in the low, mid winter sun. A jaunty logo set on a battleship grey surround, above the door echoes it’s themed, former soapy past. Like The Parlour, it seemed to be suffering from the lamentable plague of too many customers! But being a cheeky twosome, we managed to bag the last two seater by the door. A booming Ellie Goulding dance track allied to the ‘saloon like’ outside door, wafting the December breeze into The Flame’s lap, all contrived to make the early running tetchy at best. The Cooktwit having realised his spot was bathed in the warming busom of a well oiled blast heater made a timely swap with the loving relative and all was calm. A pint of spin drift and a black coffee soon got the pleasantries going.
A review of our surroundings confirmed it was in keeping with the urban trend. Exposed brick, tiles from the past, schoolboy chairs, welded frame tables and of course the obligatory jam jar water vessels. It’s all here. In contrast to some though the long, narrow dining area is significantly boosted in capacity by a healthy outdoor section. Festooned with awnings and polar bear sapping heaters many of the trendy throng imbibed their luncheon alfresco. One can only imagine the size of the scrum to get down here on a barmy, summers eve.
By this time a review of the menu and a nod at some of the scran emanating from the kitchen had us purring in comfort. For me one of the finest inventions of the gastropub scene is the plain black on white menu which then doubles up as your placemat. The Laundrette thankfully honours this tradition. Perked up with some soapy humour and vintage adverts it is a fine document.
Whilst pizzas dominate, The Flame went for her standby dish, lasagne (£9) taken from the ‘Full Load’ part of the card. A mixed salad (£3) settled alongside. It arrived in a ‘Le Creuset’ type casserole dish with lid. Made with homemade fresh pasta it was dubbed ‘The best lasagne I’ve had in years’. I was allowed my standard fork full, to confirm that it was totally delicious. Bags of beefy mince and Italianate flavour. The salad was also up to the mark.
I went for the ‘famous’ Sunday roast (£10.75) built up with porchetta rather than my standard beef. It arrived on an organic plank. A porcelain disc turned up as well. This meant I could gently transfer elements of the substantial feed onto a more manageable palette. Long, well cooked carrots and parsnips mingled with broccoli, roast potatoes and two nice slabs of pork each complete with a pleasing blister of fat and crackling. A boat of hot gravy completed the offer. And what an offer. As good a roast as anywhere. No wonder it’s famous. I watched with a little envy as many others shared a rare beef version. I’ll be back for that.
For research we shared a ‘Calzone Dessert’ (£6). It arrived hot. A folded pizza filled with Nutella, banana, marshmallows and swathed in salted caramel sauce with a blob of vanilla ice cream to mop up. It took some eating. Apparently it’s the best seller and why not? Due to a mix up in service we waited some forty minutes for it. But fair play the chap in charge ‘comped’ us the dessert and threw in two coffees. Can’t say fairer than that.
Have to say having settled on The Laundrette as second best we left feeling we have found another gem. With lots of January being left as I write the £10 voucher to spend again will come in very handy. Another free dessert at least!
32 Beech Road, M21 9EL
Phone: 0161 88 15777