Cambridge – Cambridge Brew House

The Cambridge Brew House is another of the pubs which is operated by the City Pub Company, which includes the Old Ticket Office in the city, and it has obtained itself a decent reputation. I decided to book a table for myself and had to make sure I got there, as there’s a £10 deposit per person which is charged for no-shows. I can understand why they do that though, it must be a nightmare to get a heap of no-shows.

I wasn’t entirely thrilled at this as, personally, I think this is a slightly unbalanced choice of beers with nothing remarkable. I’m sure others would disagree and I’m conscious at least they’re making their own beer.

The decor is all modern in its style, with everything feeling clean and organised. Incidentally, I liked the table I was given as it gave a vantage point over the pub. It reminded me that recently pubs and restaurants have been very good at giving me a decent table despite sometimes booking just for me. I’m hoping gone are the days that sole diners are shoved in a corner near the toilets on a wonky and rickety table.

The strong point of the pub was though the staff, they were exceptional in terms of their engagement, helpfulness and welcome. There were certainly no issues with customer service that I noted during my visit. I was also pleased to note that the City Pub Company were giving customers £5 off if they used the pub’s app, so along with the Government’s ‘eat out to help out’, this was making it a good value expedition.

The King’s Parade from Cambridge Brewing Company, which is the brewery that is attached to the pub. It was fine and had a malt flavour of some depth which let me pretend that I was eating biscuits, although there was a limited depth of aftertaste.

The starter of crispy salt and pepper squid with chilli mayonnaise. The squid was well cooked and evenly coated, although there was no evident salt and pepper taste to it that I could discern. The mayonnaise was rich and the squid did have that melt in the mouth texture, with the dish being well presented.

OK, I probably didn’t need fish and chips for the second time in one day. The fish was slightly over-cooked, but at least they’d drained it properly and so it didn’t make the chips greasy. The fish was of a high quality, but I’m not convinced that batter was fresh, it was lacking in flavour and was quite bland (and the batter should be the tastiest bit as far as I’m concerned). The mushy peas were though decent and the tartare sauce was marvellous, I liked the chunks of capers and gherkins, two of my favourite items.

As mentioned, the service was excellent and the environment was clean and comfortable. I liked the whole relaxed feel to the proceedings, a service style which was informal and that suited the environment. The total bill came to £10.50 (although that’s after the food was made half-price and they gave me £5 off), for two courses and a pint of beer, which I considered to be entirely reasonable. Other than the customer service, I’m not sure though that there was anything exceptional here as there were no beers I’d particularly mention to others and the starter was above average, but the main was firmly just average.