Dominating the former Finbarr’s restaurant, Kingslodge Inn have arrived and made their mark in a sleepy corner of Durham city centre.
Hidden in a little oasis of calm, backed with woodland of Flass Vale, the pub is only 10 minute walk from both the bus station, train station and student accommodation.
We tried out the newest member of the Inn Collection family to put it through its paces.
The warm and welcoming pub is a mecca for those of us who are local but can’t face the hubbub of city bars for a quiet bite to eat or some Saturday afternoon drinks in peace and quiet. Kingslodge Inn really has cornered the market there!
With a tried + tested pub grub menu, the kitchen team have done a cracking job to stop comparisons being drawn to it’s predecessor by a loyal following, stamping their own mark on the food. Heads down and focusing on the food, we opt for starters and mains which leave us full enough to skip dessert.
The Crisp Black Pudding & Bacon with poached egg and peppercorn sauce (£5.95) was a hearty and warming starter to kick off our visit. The egg was as runny as you’d want it to be, mixed in with the pepper sauce, it made mopping it up with the crisp black pudding easier, and oh so tasty. It is not the prettiest dish to photograph though, I can tell you that! My companion did say a slice of bread at the end wouldn’t go amiss for all that yolky goodness!
My favourite starter has to be the Antipasto (£7.95). A nicely presented selection of cured meats, garlic and olives all served up with crisp bread slices, oil and vinegar. The olives where my favourite bit, they had an aniseed note to them which made them moreish. I’d happily have sat and at them all day long! We did find the toasted breads to be perilously hard and would have preferred some softer focaccia to soak up the olive oil and balsamic. It was a generous portion and very definitely shareable as a grazing board.
The Quesadillas (£9.95) is a gargantuan portion of vegetarian goodness. Chickpeas, jalapenos and veg are topped with cheese, baked and served with salsa and basmati rice. A pretty subtle kick from the jalapenos makes it spicy but not overpoweringly so, the salsa helps cool things down. My companion couldn’t manage the eat the full portion but it was thoroughly enjoyed. It would be nice to see an option to add a meat in to the mix for an additional cost.
Desperately trying to channel the last bits of summer sun and holiday memories, I have been sticking to the Mediterranean Salad (£9.95) which is packed full of roasted peppers, halloumi and olives on a bed of salad leaves and mint. The kitchen were only too happy to skip the courgette from the salad for me so if there’s something you need to substitute, don’t be afraid to ask – I do think the dish would have been more substantial with the courgette as I don’t think it was replaced with extra peppers but that was my choice! The grilled halloumi was spot on though, I think any salad could always do with twice as much cheese though. Mmm cheese!
The mood changes when it comes to Saturday afternoon beers and bait, chips and comfort food is called for. We can definitely give the Steak, mushroom + ale pie (£9.95) and the scampi + triple cooked chips (£9.95) a big thumbs up. Generous portions of comfort food, just what the Doctor ordered coming up to these cold months!
We haven’t sampled the desserts but can vouch that a few extra drinks work just as well to close your visit!
With free parking on site and secluded outdoor seating areas, it is the perfect place to visit whether you are from near or far.