I'd never eaten there before despite popping in several times for drinks, and always eyeing up the food.
There were eight of us - myself, Glen and Bridget, my parents, my Nan and my two brothers, Daniel and Dean and when we arrived the place was absolutely heaving with jovial diners. There wasn't room for a pre-meal drink at the bar but we squeezed onto a sofa in the main stretch of the restaurant with the beautiful views out across the river. It's a fairly cold space despite the radiators pumping out heat plus a few fan heaters so wrap up if you feel the cold and visit during this cold spell.
There was a great atmosphere and children were most certainly welcome - there was even a face painter, which was a nice touch.
Once seated we ate from both the The Narrow's Mother's Day and A La Carte menus and weren't disappointed.
My Dad and I chose the ham hock terrine to begin, which came with the most delicious homemade piccalilli that was artfully arranged on the plate. The terrine was chunky, full of meaty flavour and perfect with the fresh seeded rolls that came to the table. Very rustic in taste, but beautifully presented.
|Ham Hock Terrine with Piccalilli|
|Mushroom Fricassee with Rocket, Buckwheat and a Poached Egg|
My Mum and Daniel both opted for the mackerel rillettes which came atop some rye toasted bread. Smooth and pepped up with a zing of lemon and a hint of black pepper, it was lovely, a great start.
|Mackerel Rillettes on Rye|
Dean had the Chicken Liver Parfait which was great but a rather large portion - no matter; we shared around the table, happily.
|Chicken Liver Parfait with Pear Chutney|
We also ordered one of the bar snacks of fried squid - a favourite dish, as we'd seen a few other diners enjoying. The squid was tasty and cooked perfectly - no rubbery texture here, cooked in salt and chilli but It was a slightly too heavy handed on the salt for my liking.
Glen had the leg of lamb and Dean the pork loin roast dinners and, like mine, each came with just a drizzle of gravy, and we had to request more. We weren't offered condiments and our waiter rushed off so we had to, request these from a different member of staff which was a little frustrating, however it was insanely busy and the roasts were all good so we felt forgiving.
|Rabbit Ragu with Pappardelle|
|Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas|
My Mum and Daniel both opted for the Pan-fried Hake on a bed of Crayfish Risotto. The hake was cooked to perfection, crispy skin and perfectly flake-able flesh. The risotto was a little under seasoned and lacking in the seafood flavour Dan was looking for, but my Mum thoroughly enjoyed.
|Pan Fried Hake with Crayfish Risotto|
|Rhubarb and Pear Crumble with Vanilla Custard|
Bridget's dessert was an ice cream with chocolate sauce which she thoroughly enjoyed and I think it's a great coup that any child eats free at The Narrow all day, every day - great incentive for families to eat out more. She received a colouring in book, some pencils and a plain paper hat to decorate which kept her more than amused. The staff were kind and attentive towards her too, when one waiter noticed she was nibbling on the cucumber garnish from one of our drinks, he brought a little plate full of cucumber over. All of these small attentions to detail mean so much when eating out with children, so top marks for being family-friendly.
We had a few beers and wine amongst the table but there were a couple of drivers in our mix too and the bill came in at just under £300 for the eight of us including service which for three decent courses each, I thought was reasonable.
The Narrow is a great venue for informal family dining, in a buzzing riverside atmosphere that serves wholesome, hearty and delicious traditional food with something for all the family.