After decades of eating a traditional roast on a Sunday the thought of it suddenly lost its appeal about a year ago.
I switched my allegiance to fish dishes, pulses and pastas and resigned myself
to a Yorkshire pudding-free existence.
It could have been the drop in the temperature, the first mention of snow on the weather forecast or just a bout of nostalgia, but something triggered a hankering for a proper Sunday lunch.
I couldn’t have picked a better place to satisfy my craving than the Sycamores Restaurant, at the Red Lion, in Penyffordd.
There were three options on offer, with one course at £10.95, two at £12.95 and three at £13.95. Children’s portions ranged from £4.95-£6.95.
The Sycamores was already buzzing when we arrived and soon every table was full.
Service was running like a well oiled machine, with a team of eager and friendly waitresses attending to everyone’s needs. Nothing was too much trouble, they were outstanding.
It was difficult to choose from such a tempting selection of starters but for me the day had come to try deep fried mozzarella sticks for the first time.
Served with an apple and plum chutney they were little creations of savoury deliciousness.
My dining companion followed a more familiar route towards garlic mushrooms, but even they had an original twist, served as they were under a Stilton crust.
I was building up nicely to that longed-for roast, and I was not disappointed.
The roast sirloin of beef was succulent, the roast potatoes perfect, the veg plentiful, the gravy rich and tasty and the Yorkshire pudding, well that was simply a masterpiece.
It stood tall like a fortress on the plate, confirmation if confirmation were needed, that there was a magician in the kitchen.
My friend waxed lyrical about her roast lamb, but I really wasn’t listening, I was too absorbed relishing every bite and wondering why I had ever strayed from this tradition on a Sunday.
The desserts all sounded wicked in the extreme, from the ever popular warm chocolate fudge cake and chef’s own rhubarb and apple crumble to lemon meringue pie and chocolate tart with rum and raisin ice cream.
I declined all of these, not because I was being abstemious or honourable, but because I had already been beguiled by the prospect of chef’s own Crunchie bar cheescake. What’s not to like?
My companion ordered creme brulee with shortbread and that too looked and tasted delightful.
What can I say. I’m back on the Sunday roast bandwagon big style, and it looks like I’ll stay hooked at least until we see the first daffodil of the spring.
I can fully recommend the Sycamores, at the Red Lion, Penyffordd, especially if you’re planning a visit to nearby Broughton Retail Park for a spot of Christmas shopping.
Book first to avoid disappointment.
Creamy garlic mushrooms encroute with Stilton cheese.
Deep fried mozzarella sticks with apple and plum chutney.
Roast sirloin of beef with Yorkshire pudding and gravy.
Roast leg of lamb in a mint and redcurrant gravy.
Both served with roast potatoes and a selection of fresh vegetables
Creme brulee served with shortbread.
Chef’s own crunchie bar cheesecake.
Three course Sunday lunch £13.95
See full story in the Chester Leader