On arrival at the Pointing Dog,(Grove Lane,Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, SK8 7NE.) you will immediately be relaxed by its ambience. From the beautiful timber-clad exterior to the minimalist contemporary interior. High ceilings with terracotta plaster walls, all adorned with unusual fittings of crates and colanders to name a few. The mood is set as it should be for a gastropub.
The interior is separated into three distinct dining areas, a small bar and seating area and an a large outdoor patio area with typical wooden furniture for when our two week summers arrive.
The staff are excellent. Prompt, polite and informed about both food and wine menus. Before I get to the food it has to be said the wine list is one/if not the best I have seen for a restaurant which isn’t trying to get into Michelin’s good books. The global collection of bottles on offer are grouped accordingly to food types for complete novices. We decided to drink by the glass as there were so many we wanted to sample.
We had: Chapel Down Bacchus (English)-Clean pear bouquet, quite sharp.
Rioja Blanco-Apricot and buttery, complex white.
Pinot Grigio-Typical Italian uneventful, light body.
NZ Sauvignon Blanc- Heady aroma, peachy, smooth.
The menu is certainly different. Not trying too hard but all the same being brave enough to use newer flavour combinations. For starters we had a mushroom on toast with porcini cream sauce ensemble(£6.25) which couldn’t be faulted. We also tried the sweet potato frittata(£5.50), it was light and heavily seasoned with cumin. The accompanying salad with fried onions and tahini dressing was a nice balance. My only complaint is that half of the frittata was cold, so had obviously been reheated-how long does it take to cook some eggs?
Onto our mains, this place prides itself on its grill. Despite there being many tempting fish/chicken dishes I plumped for the main event of Fillet Steak(£23.95, medium) with Chimichurri sauce, side of chip shop fries(£2.75). My wife went for the Lobster with chilli lime butter(£16). With all main courses you get to choose a side salad. You need to choose carefully, I chose the beetroot and watercress, my wife chose an avocado and mango salad. These were great but obviously wouldn’t quite work the other way round. My steak was excellent, an aged tasty bit of cow seasoned perfectly. The chimichurri was rather red and bland. I like mine with some heat and sharpness to it. The fries were tasty but not crispy! I think all pubs should now only sell Triple Cooked Chips. The lobster was excellent, the only complaint being that there seemed to be half a lobster missing!
We chose to share a Baked Alaska(£5.50) for dessert. The Italian meringue was superb, think warm marshmallow. From here though it went downhill, rather than some nice cake base inside we had strawberry jam and cookie crumbs-which had softened in the jam obviously. There was no textural contrast, all one big lump of goo. We could only manage half of it between two of us! It was pretty much a diabetic coma on a plate.
Overall the Pointing Dog does what it says on the tin. Some minor points and maybe better food selections in the future. It is a great setting and the food is really good.