Monday, 25 June 2012

Pantruthyn Farm, Pencoed

Let me say from the out set this is not fine dining. If you like Beefeater you will love Table Table. It is they kind of place that caters for all types and we have found is a good place to take the fussy teenagers who occasionally deign to grace us with their presence.

Like many of these eateries this Pantruthyn has had a number of incarnations and this latest under the Table Table banner is not unpleasant. A typical 'off the motorway' venue, it is adjacent to a hotel and thus provides the usual all you can eat breakfast as a sideline to the restaurant menu.

Inside it is a spacious venue with a number of small alcoves which can accommodate intimate tables for two to larger areas with tables large enough for eighth to ten diners.

Beware if you like the quiet life this may not be the place for you, as I said earlier it is popular with families and as such on the night we were there it was busy and there were a number of shall we say rather loud babies and small children to contend with!

My biggest gripe about the food is that being a chain they are, as always seems to be the case, obsessed with frozen. For me I don't think it is too difficult to produce hand cut chips and they would make all the difference to what otherwise becomes quite ordinary. But more of that later.

We didn't book but even so on a Saturday evening we didn't have to wait more than twenty minutes. The waiting staff were very pleasant and attentive to our needs. Even though we had not bothered to book the duty manager was still apologetic that we had to wait and the service was good.

So dear reader on to the important bit, the food! There is a quite acceptable three courses menu with starters ranging from £1.99 for dough balls to a not particularly cheap £5.29 for a whole baked Camembert. On average the starters are around £4.79 and cover all the usual suspects. On this occasion we chose to skip this and move on to the mains.

Plenty to choose from here from fish and chips through to Roast Duck with most stops in between. The burgers are particularly good according to the boy, but then he sees McDonald's as a fine dining experience. To be fair they are pretty good but not to my taste.

I chose the Chicken and BBQ Ribs combo (£7.79) which you can upgrade to a full rack for an extra £1.80. The ribs are beautifully, fall off the bone, cooked but sadly the BBQ element comes from a pot of sauce which I guess was expertly poured from a bottle. A dry rub would have made a big difference. The chicken again was a let down (frozen goujons) however the caramel sauce was good.

Chicken and BBQ Ribs
For an inexpensive night out this was not unpleasant but with only a little thought and effort it could have been so much more. I suppose the saying is true that you get what you pay for and as I said the ribs were well cooked.

Now on to the sausage and mash. This was, to use a football term, a game of two halves. The mash, well lets just move on. However the sausage was succulent, meaty and really well cooked. It is also worth noting that three of these beauties was a good sized portion.

Sausage and Mash

Now I am a lover of frozen peas but if you are going to use them then please heat them through as needed rather than having a vat of them to dish up. Overall this was not bad at all and the price £7.59 was, in my opinion, pretty good value for money.

Mrs Tonfoodie went for  the Chicken Fajitas (£8.99) which she described as spicy and delicious. As always and obviously only in the name of research I did try one and I would agree.  Mrs T took the photograph and managed to take it upside down, I was tempted to put it in that way around but thought better of it just in case you felt the need to turn your computer round to see it properly!

Chicken Fajitas
 This leaves us with the final dish which was a perfectly acceptable chicken breast served with bacon and cheese (£9.49). This was the only time when out waitress slipped up, being so used to expecting everyone to have those earlier mentioned frozen chips she missed the fact that we had ordered this with jacket potato, not a major issue and very quickly rectified.

Deserts range from £3.00 - £5.49 and are the usual fayre at this type of place. Mrs T and the boy decided to share the tasting plate which allows you to choose any three of the choices on the menu. They seemed to be taken with this because when I went to take a photograph it had already half disappeared.

The Tasting Desert
So to sum up £53 for four people including drinks is not bad. This is a decent family restaurant which I would be happy to go back to. Shame about the obsession with frozen but hey you can't have everything. Looking for somewhere to take the kids then give it a go. Looking for a romantic evening for two......

It is worth checking their website for special offers but remember if you find one vouchers need to be printed and taken with you.

Score: 2.5 T's

Pantruthyn Farm
Whitehall Road
CF35 5hY
Tel: 01656 860133
Mon-Sat: 12.00 noon - 11pm
Sun: 12 noon - 10.30pm
Breakfast: 7am - 10:30am

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