Opened by celebrity chef Simon Rimmer in 2016, the Viking Pub & Bakehouse has cultivated a justified reputation for quality food and beers at reasonable prices.

Historically, the town of West Kirby, and more broadly the Wirral, has become synonymous with the Vikings and is the only place in mainland Britain with documented evidence of Norwegian Viking settlers.

Rimmer’s restaurant pays homage to that legacy, with the building’s unassuming exterior displaying signage and livery bearing the image of legendary Viking invader Ingimund.

The relaxed decor extends the Nordic theme to showcase the best of Scandinavian design with exposed brickwork, mosaic tiles and an unfussy and communal seating layout for diners.

My wife and I, along with our one-year-old daughter, visited on a busy Saturday lunchtime and were shown to our pre-booked table in front of the bar, which forms the central focal point of the dining area.

Our drinks orders (a bottle of imported Mikkelar IPA for me and a lemonade for my wife) were taken promptly by the friendly waiting staff who were attentive without being intrusive.

The varied lunch menu offered plenty of options, including standard gastropub fayre like stone-baked pizzas, burgers as well as a range of attractive main options.

Appealing smorgasboards came in two guises – ‘from the land’ (Cheshire porkies, sesame sweet potato falafel, hummus, charred bread) – and ‘from the sea’ (cocktail prawns, haddock goujons, whitebait, pickled cucumber, rye bread).

Instead, I opted for the walnut and pesto baked cod loin with parmentier potatoes, tossed winter greens and lemon butter while my wife chose two starters.

Along with a sticky sesame chicken dish, she ordered a goat’s cheese, beets and citrus salad.

My generously-proportioned pesto cod was historic. Superbly cooked and rich in flavour it delivered on its promise, while the sesame chicken was tender and equally delicious.

Nominally at least, the word Viking hints at a savage and unsophisticated dining experience, but there is nothing uncultured about this gem of an eatery.

The Viking will appeal to anyone who enjoys delicious and inexpensive food, and exemplary table service in a beautifully-designed dining space.

A triumph.

How it rated:

Viking Pub and Bakehouse, West Kirby, Wirral. Tel: 0151 601 1888

Ambience – 9/10

Service – 9/10

Food quality – 9/10

Children welcome – yes

Disabled access – yes