Tapas is a style of food normally associated with Spain, but a new restaurant has opened in Northampton serving classic British dishes to share. Ruth Supple tried out Bread And Pullet...
One of the most frustrating things about going out to eat is choosing one dish, then wishing you’d had the meal your fellow diner opted for instead.
Tapas avoids all that though and the Spanish style of sharing lots of small portions of many dishes is a great way for friends and family to tuck into different meals at one sitting.
Now a new restaurant in Northampton’s Wellingborough Road is offering tapas dishes, British rather than Spanish-style, to its diners. And with small portions costing only £3.50 and large dishes only £6 each, it’s a cheap and economical night out for all the family.
Instead of Spanish tapas dishes like calamari, Iberico ham and patatas bravas, diners can enjoy English choices like rapeseed oil roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings with onion gravy and four cheese cauliflower and broccoli cheese.
What’s equally unusual is the name of the place - Bread And Pullet - which is a phrase I had never heard of before. Apparently, it is an old English saying which refers to the word pullet (meaning chicken and derived from the French word, poulet). More commonly used today in Norfolk and Suffolk, it refers to when people wished they had bread and pullet, but couldn’t afford the chicken. So they had to have bread only and pull-it, imagining the taste of the chicken and being grateful for having anything at all to eat.
A giant chicken logo is emblazoned on the front of Bread and Pullet and the theme continues inside the long, narrow and spacious restaurant. On arrival, my partner, Kieran, and I were shown to the bar at the front of the restaurant, where we ordered some pre-dinner drinks.
It was early evening when we arrived and, to begin with, we were the only people in the place, but by the time we left it was filling up rapidly.
There is a large, open-style kitchen at the rear of the restaurant, where head chef and one of the owners, Adam Church, was ready with his team to cook up whatever we wanted. Our extremely friendly and attentive waiter explained how the menu works and advised us to choose around four dishes between us, as that would probably be enough . . . and we could always add more, if we were still hungry.
As well as the regular menu, there is also a daily changing specials board. We chose two small bowls of crispy pork scratchings with apple sauce and homemade chips, along with salt beef hash with fried free range eggs and rump steak off the specials board.
The meals all arrived at roughly the same time and were placed on the large slate divider in the middle of the wooden table we were seated at. They were all hearty, tasty and the pork scratchings was the only one we couldn’t finish between us.
Desserts of ice cream for me and sticky toffee pudding for Kieran finished off our caring and sharing evening, where we were both very grateful that, even though times are tough for many people these days, we can enjoy more than bread for our supper.