Barton-Upon-Humber · dining · Food

The Sloop Inn, Barton-Upon-Humber

Travel through Barton upon Humber along a very dull Waterside Road and you’ll probably pass the Sloop Inn. Well it would hardly earn the ‘pub of the Year’ award looking from the outside, if appearances are anything to go by. Maybe time to enter and experience the interior of this well-respected eatery. Look for the cosy and chic bistro interior, designed by experts, romantic and inviting – and you won’t find it here. Want comfy dining furniture, winter-warming log fires and an abundance of attentive staff? I suggest you find somewhere else. So why am I so positive about this place? I’ve still no idea, but stick with it and enjoy the experience of a warm welcome and good, honest food.

On entering the place we were met by the host (bar manager?) who cheerfully answered that they were serving food, and that the menu was on the wall. And what a menu it was. A big plus was that they also catered for vegetarians and Vegans. No problem. I chose a rump steak and Becky chose haddock and chips, just as a trial run. On looking around it was very noticeable that the Sloop Inn is a no-frills traditional English pub, with its own locals. It was a quiet night for the pub interrupted only by whispered conversation from a handful of thirsty after-work drinkers, a lonely-looking pool table, and an empty dining area. We were told to sit wherever we liked, and so chose one of the well-worn tables near a lifeless fire. The poor table looked as though it had witnessed many a plate, spilled beer and the odd fight or two over the years.

The decor was a bizarre mix to say the least. Now, I’m not trying to be negative, really, and i think the best description would be ‘interesting’, and it certainly is entertaining to the eye. This is the Sloop Inn and so a nautical theme pervades, nearly. Photos and prints of sloops and schooners, marine paraphernalia, accompanied by photos of birds, snakes and flowers. Yes, that’s what I said. Almost a theme and then – not. Anyway, ample dining rooms and bar areas, all in desperate need of a cash injection and makeover, yet at the same time it’s functional.

Is it expensive? No, it’s not. It’s on a par with other pubs serving food. And from what we sampled, the food is good. In fact my medium-cooked steak was melt-in-the-mouth and well seasoned and the fish was perfectly cooked as well. The portion looked a bit small but it wasn’t, the plate was just big. The service? Excellent, although, to be fair, there was no competition from any other diners.

Would we go again? The answer is a resounding yes. Those puddings on the menu board looked fantastic. But maybe we’ll leave it until a busier night when there’s a little more atmosphere. Food-wise – recommended.

Barton-Upon-Humber · Location · Our Reviews · Restaurants

Imaginarium

Tucked away in a corner of the market place in Barton-upon-Humber is a small but well lit door with a strange-font(ed) sign bearing the name ‘Imaginarium’. Open up the door and you’ll discover the wonderful sight and smell of the Imaginarium gastro lounge.

This is quite a new restaurant and seems to be proving very popular if the amount of diners was anything to go by. Time to give it a try.

To be greeted at the door by staff is often a bonus nowadays so it was pleasant to be duly welcomed in and escorted to our table by very friendly member of staff. The first thing we really noticed was the bright and cheery atmosphere of the interior. Great care had obviously been taken here when choosing the decor.

Tip: When booking, ask to be seated through the rear doors into the reclaimed (indoor) courtyard. It’s even nicer.

OK. It looks and feels nice, so, what about the food?

I don’t really like to say this, but perhaps the chef is on a bit of a learning curve , and it was very busy. Maybe the kitchen staff are still finding their feet. I hope so. I really do. What was wrong? I don’t know. It was hard to put a finger on it.

I started with the ‘Aromatic Crispy Duck’. It wasn’t crispy. It was rubbery in texture and took some chewing. Check picture 1. I didn’t enjoy mine though to be fair another member of our party also had duck and she maintained that hers was OK.

Another of the party had the baked Camembert, fig and red onion tart. Check pic 2. Does that look like a ‘tart’? Well, evidently it was OK, but it wasn’t the warm melted Camembert that was suggested (as in baked) that I expected. Someone else had the ham hock and chicken terrine. No complaint with this one.

For a ‘main’ I had rib-eye steak, which I have to say, was excellent, though the chips were only just and just cooked. Someone else had sea bass, which again was judged ‘OK’. Now the sea bass dish consisted of new potatoes and mixed veg, but no sauce or anything to make it a bit special. All well cooked and nothing wrong with anything particularly. The other two guests had Chicken Voldostana, which was described as ‘very nice’, and the halibut from the ‘specials board’, which was described as being OK.

But it was the Chicken Voldostana that was deemed the best dish.

We actually had room, just, for puddings, which again were nice. Chocolate orange Wellington fudge and sticky toffee plum pudding.

The following verdict may sound harsh, but it’s honest.

I’ve described the various dishes purposely as being ‘nice’ or ‘OK’. Not fabulous. Not incredible. Just ‘nice’. There was nothing here that couldn’t be described as nice. However, this was not an amazing culinary experience. Someone in our party did comment that they felt they could go home and cook these same meals. The name of the restaurant conjours up an imaginative, special and possibly exciting experience, but we felt on this occasion, it didn’t deliver for the cost of the meal.

As I have already stated, this is a new restaurant and it’s early days. Do I recommend it? Well, we will go back and give it a second try, perhaps in a month’s time. They do a really inviting TexMex and Burger menu which I look forward to. The staff are super friendly and enthusiastic, so I hope they succeed and I wish them well . With a bit of tinkering with the menu (fish is not part of the standard menu), and having the courage, and dare I say, imagination, to refine their dishes, they will.

Good luck to the Imaginarium.