Review: The Thyme & Plaice, Coppull, Chorley

2:56pm Thursday 21st July 2011

Address: 37 Wigan Lane, Coppull, Chorley, PR7 4BN.

Phone number: 01257 480 287.

The Bolton News review by Kat Dibbits from July 21, 2011.

ORDINARILY I would avoid a restaurant with a pun in the name like a lobster in a French bistro trying to avoid a pan of hot water.

There is a steak restaurant in Hindley, Summat To Ate, that has been recommended by friends. I can’t quite bring myself to do it, though. There’s too much at stake.

Thyme and Plaice, however, is just about subtle enough to pass under the radar, and furthermore we had reason to celebrate — the day had a vowel in it, after all.

This tiny restaurant in Coppull is, in fact, the perfect place to treat yourself to an oh-shucks-why-not meal out thanks to their market menu, which offers three courses for only £15.95.

Despite looking suspiciously like a converted pub (which is exactly what it is) from the outside, once inside it was hard not to be impressed by the bold, contemporary decor.

Although it was a Wednesday — not exactly the most happening night in the buzzing metropolis of Bolton — Thyme and Plaice was full, but the waiting staff were not to be overwhelmed and service was swift and polite.

We ordered garlic mushrooms with chilli and lemon on bruschetta and smoked pork loin with homemade piccalilli to start. The mushrooms were pleasant if not particularly memorable, but the pork was something genuinely special, with the smoked pork and relish well balanced.

For mains, two steaks, one with sauce so we could pretend we weren’t ordering the same dishes (an initial starter choice of two porks had already been rejected). The steak was juicy, the green peppercorn sauce had a proper kick without drowning the flavour of the meat.

Dessert is where Thyme and Plaice really comes into its own. A vanilla creme brulee was velvety without being oily, while the dark chocolate cheesecake with marmalade ice cream was probably the most cheffy thing on the menu, but was a stroke of real genius, with the richness of the chocolate cut through by the sharp orange.

The market menu is largely modern European, with the expected chicken liver parfait, goats cheese and braised lamb (not served together, obviously). If you venture into the a la carte you could also try prawn verrine (essentially, it means it comes in glass), sea bass served with a rosemary beurre blanc or pork belly with black pudding.

Wine was astonishingly good value, at less than £4 a glass — cheaper than some pubs.

All in all, it’s fair to say this is certainly somewhere to head to, if you’re looking for a pleasant way to pass the thyme. Sorry.

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