Just to prove we are not complete restaurant snobs (and thanks to a 50% off food promotion on Mondays) we recently cast our hipster beards aside and went for food at the Slug and Lettuce near the Cornerhouse. I’ve never eaten there before, but Emily has and recommended we go for the small plates menu where you can buy three for £10 – though it’s worth noting this deal doesn’t apply on 50% off Mondays. Boo.
The menu is incredibly varied with healthy options such as ‘design-your own-style salads, plenty of veggie dishes, pub classics and – of course – burgers and steaks and sharers. Along with the half price cocktails all day every day, this makes it a safe bet for parties or friends as there’s usually something for everyone.
We both ordered the pulled pork steamed buns, kimchi steamed buns and I opted for the soft tacos with salt beef brisket while Emily went for the mozzarella, tomato and avocado salad as her third choice.
The food arrived quickly and we eagerly tucked into the pulled pork steamed buns.
With it being nearly unavoidable on any menu, we’ve suffered from pulled-pork fatigue for a while now but had also forgotten how tasty it can be. Served here with tangy pickled red onion and coriander, it worked really well with the soft, sweet, warm bun. The pork itself was well marinated, tender and juicy and while it wasn’t what you could call an authentic Korean bao, it was very tasty and our favourite plate.
Unfortunately, the kimchi bao weren’t as successful.
We love kimchi and order it wherever we see it, but this was closer to spiced cabbage served with a mango chutney. The filling bizarrely resembled curry and not the spicy-sour flavour of fermented cabbage that so typifies the flavours of Korean cuisine. Although not unpleasant, it just wasn’t right – it tasted sweet and cloying. Not a disaster, but we wouldn’t order them again – pulled pork versions every time.
Next, I tucked into the soft tacos with salt beef brisket.
We had the best soft tacos in the world on a recent trip to New York (served out the back of a Mexican convenience store!) so this had a lot to live up to and did an ok job of doing so. The beef brisket had a great bite to it and went really well with the lettuce, mustard and jalapeño pepper. With the soft tortilla, this made for a tangy, spicy and tasty dish. The only problem I had was the portion size. I know soft tacos are traditionally small, but this was over in two bites with only one sliver of beef in each taco. If ordered on its own, it would cost £4.79 which isn’t good value at all, but seeing as we got six plates for £14 in the 50% off deal, we can’t really complain.
Emily’s tomato, avocado and mozzarella salad was a take on the traditional Italian tricolour combo – with avo instead of basil.
Much tastier and more exciting than your run of the mill garden salad, It was served with a red pepper tapenade which added a welcome twist. The flavours were good but the avocado could have been fresher as it had started to take on that brown tinge of sadness.
So, overall a tasty enough meal for a good price. We often overlook chain restaurants in favour of independents due to their often predictable and sub-par food, but Slug and Lettuce didn’t do too badly – if we’re looking for somewhere to eat on a Monday again, we would go back. Plus, it’s 2 for 1 cocktails. Need we say more?
Atmosphere and surroundings: 4/10
Emily & Stuart