Sunday Lunch at The Earl of Pitt Street
I’ve wanted to return to The Earl of Pitt Street since our last visit wasn’t as successful as it should have been. You can read all about it here, but to cut a long story short we were incorrectly told their Thai Green Curry wasn’t suitable for vegans when it was. At least it wasn’t the other way round, but it caused an issue because there wasn’t much else Mr. Canny could eat. We felt let down by the service but, because of other visits, chalked it up to an off day.
We chose The Earl for Sunday lunch with my sister-in-law over every other on my Best Of list, and the formidable Feathers Inn, because of its close proximity to home. We also believed it would be a cracking meal as we’ve visited for a roast dinner on a few occasions in the past (see post here). Following the advice given last time round, I telephoned ahead to see what the vegan options were. Unfortunately the vegetarian Nut Roast was bound with an egg, meaning that there was no traditional fare for Mr. Canny. Instead he was to be served up a Moroccan Tagine. He was more concerned that Adriana enjoyed her first Sunday dinner, so off we toddled.
One thing we have discovered is that she isn’t keen on our ales. She likes her cerveja icy cold, and struggled to drink the Workie Ticket we chose for her to sup alongside the slow cooked blade of beef that I recommended for her main course. Mr. Canny had a Blue Moon, a Belgian-style wheat ale that is vegan-friendly.
Served without its usual harissa yoghurt to make it vegan, the tagine was decent enough. I felt it was on the expensive side (£12.95) however. With the Sunday lunch charged at around the same price, it didn’t seem comparable in standard or consideration. Mr. Canny said he was happy though, so I took him at his word.
The beef – apparently – was delicious and tender, while the giant Yorkshire pudding and gravy were also well received. It is obvious quality ingredients are used throughout, especially when it came to my vegetarian roast. Rather than having a processed taste and texture, it was packed with flavour. I believe it is the first ‘proper’ Nut Roast I’ve eaten when dining out.
So here’s where I complain. I ordered an additional bowl of mashed potato, thinking that if Dinky got hungry I could feed her some. I was also being greedy. Who doesn’t like lots of mash and gravy with their lunch?! It arrived with our mains and we polished it off. What I hadn’t realised until after we’d finished was that we’d not been given the seasonal veg that are supposed to accompany our dish too. My seat afforded me a view of the kitchen, where I could see the chef heating up portions of vegetables in the microwave. This jogged my memory and I was disappointed by the oversight. I blamed myself for not realising, but Mr. Canny told me it isn’t my responsibility to know their menu and ensure everything is served up correctly. Quite right too.Feeling disappointed Adriana actually hadn’t had a full Sunday lunch, I suggested she sample a dessert too. I was in the mood to try their rich Chocolate Torte which, while spot on, looks suspiciously like a cake to me. That said, just looking at the photo gives me food envy! I could take or leave the tarty orange accompaniment, but the ice cream was nice.Her Creme Brulee was delicious too, and just the right size after quite a large Sunday lunch – even without the veg! She also had a Vietnamese Coffee to round off her meal, which is served with condensed milk.
When the bill arrived I queried the additional charge for the potato. I explained at this point that we‘d not received the veggies their menu mentioned. I said there had been no point in raising the issue earlier as we’d already finished once it became apparent. Our waiter apologised and removed the charge, as well as refunding one of our beers by way of apology for the oversight.
The error seemed to bother the Mr. more than it did me. With the confusion on our last visit regarding what he could and couldn’t eat – and now this – he feels the customer service side is lacking at The Earl. We had to ask three times for some water, as well as twice requesting additional gravy. For us being only the 3rd set of diners in during service, we felt it was ‘distracted’. I’ve since realised our pleasant experiences have been when Mark is around, and he was noticeably absent on this particular day. He is one of the most charming hosts we’ve encountered, and we’ve always been made to feel welcome. The food at The Earl is top notch – microwaved veg aside – so it’s such a shame we didn’t have a faultless experience again. We’d still recommend The Earl to anyone wanting a decent pub lunch with a cracking real ale selection, and hope that service is better when others visit.
Thanks for reading,