When it comes to Sunday lunch I have to admit I’m something of a home bird – I like my roast a certain way.
Fears of soggy veg and hard potatoes often prevent me from dining out for such a meal.
However, I had it on good authority that an independent bar and restaurant in Mapplewell near Barnsley was serving up delicious homecooked roasts at unbelievable prices. I plucked up the courage and booked a table.
Upon arrival at Barnbrooks a full car park gave us all the right signs.
Inside my optimism grew further as roast after roast flew past us out of the kitchen – clearly the most popular choice of the day.
The tastefully decorated bar and restaurant is run by husband-and-wife team, Scott and Sharon Barnbrook, who acquired the venue in 2010 and have since helped it prosper into a favourite haunt for local diners.
We’re shown to our table by a smart and polite young waitress who was attentive and friendly throughout our visit.
There is a standard menu, specials menu and that popular roast to choose from.
All the starters sound delicious but we eventually decide on the homemade cod and salmon fishcake and the curried lamb cutlets, both at £5.95 and a generous serving.
The golden fishcake is accompanied by a scattering of salad and tartar sauce. It’s perfectly soft and light on the inside and beautifully crisp on the outside. Meanwhile, the cutlets, served on a bed of fluffy rice, melt in the mouth, giving a flavoursome and aromatic experience.
The roasts are up next – one beef, one ham at just £7.95 each – can you serve a good Sunday lunch at that price I asked myself? To my relief, the answer was yes.
Plenty of tender meat, two large perfectly cooked roasties and a mammoth Yorkshire pudding arrived on the main plate, along with a good splash of gravy. A rocket garnish is the only element I felt wasn’t required.
My major fear of soggy vegetables was quickly erased when al dente side dishes of carrots, broccoli, new potatoes and green beans arrived, plus a dish of creamy cauliflower cheese.
Though we were full, a traditional homemade dessert to finish our comforting Sunday indulgence was difficult to decline.
My old-school choice of jam sponge with custard did not disappoint. The sponge island in the pool of custard was beautifully light, fluffy and topped with sweet sticky goodness.
Meanwhile, my partner’s chocolate fudge cake with ice cream was woofed down in record time, though I did manage to sample the highly moreish dessert before it disappeared.
While my mum’s roast will always reign supreme, Barnbrooks’ impressive offering put up a good fight – it might just encourage me to dine out on a Sunday more often.