The Mockingbird Taproom on Lower Watergate Street is the newest restaurant and bar in Chester. It’s decorated simply with white-washed walls and a beautiful wood-finished interior which brings the old building back to life. What makes it different is the attention to detail and the little touches that can be seen everywhere. We particularly liked the large TV screen in the restaurant showing a steady stream of good-luck messages on the Mockingbird’s Twitter feed from excited punters ready to come and give it a try on opening night (Saturday 11th October).
It’s the sixth venue to opened in Cheshire by the New Moon Pub Company and, like the rest of its gastro-pubs and restaurants, puts quality and good times at the forefront of its vision. So there’s a huge choice of wonderful food, a superb selection of wines, beers and spirits and a fantastic atmosphere to greet you when you set foot inside the Mockingbird.
Now onto the food. The menu gives you plenty of options from hot’n’spicy Gumbos and sizzling steaks to fantastic fajitas and spicy specials. We opted for the Too Good to hang Chicken Skewers and the Drowning Cow Gumbo. The chicken skewers were fantastic. Each one is packed with peppers and pork with garlic and herb doused red onions as well as plenty of succulent chicken, while the Drowning Cow is full of flavour thanks to the Mockingbird’s nine spice secret blend and it comes with a generous slug of Kentucky sippin’ bourbon. Both were delicious. We also opted for the house fries complete with chilli and cheese, and cheesy fries with liquid cheese which are as good as they sound.
Drinks. There were a lot of drinks! The cocktail range is vast and features faithful favourites and modern masterpieces as well as few surprises. First up we sampled the Old Fashioned with Woodford Reserve, sugar syrup and angostura bitters, and the Whiskey Sour which is a mix of Wild Turkey, lemon, sugar, aromatic bitters and egg white. One of the most-unusual cocktails on the menu, which we of course tried is the Breakfast Martini as it brings together bacon-infused Wild Turkey bourbon, maple syrup, orange juice and dried bacon. It has to be drunk to be believed! We also sampled another bacon-based beverage – the Bacon Old Fashioned which replaces the maple syrup and orange juice with orange bitters and sugar syrup.
As well as the cocktails we enjoyed a deliciously fruity Salentine Malbec Reserve from Argentina.
Moving onto desserts, we both tucked into a pudding plank, which we can’t tell you about. It’s too fantastic for words and you’ll have to come and sample it for yourself!
The food was perfectly cooked and there was plenty of, and it’s all served by friendly, enthusiastic staff who clearly love the place. Make sure you come and visit soon.
Follow the Mockingbird on Twitter: @MockingBirdCH1 and Facebook: facecebook.com/MockingbirdTAP
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