A Punter’s View of the Hope and Anchor, Barton-upon-Humber.
We took a few days off after the Christmas and New Year period but, as it happens, so do lots of chefs. We were staying near Cottingham, East Yorkshire, and The Pipe & Glass was shut. As was Winteringham Fields (Lincolnshire’s only Michelin-star restaurant) but a quick search of the Michelin Guide showed that the Hope and Anchor was nearby – so we booked in.
It’s a 19th-Century pub which also has rooms and is situated on the banks of the Humber with views up towards the Humber Bridge. It is staffed by ex-alumni of the aforementioned Winteringham Fields including Chef Patron Slawomir Mikolajczyk so hopes were suitably raised.
Originally from Szczecin in north western Poland, Slawomir’s passion for cooking started when studying at his local catering college. After gaining his diploma, he spent a year in Polish national service – which is where he started to appreciate the extremes of discipline, and the importance of preparation and self-motivation. Following this he decided to move to England in order to visit relatives, learn English and progress in the restaurant industry.
Both the menu and wine list were varied and had plenty of intriguing offerings. Both were also expertly explained by the sommelier, and it was refreshing to be offered samples of the wine to help us choose. Another nice touch was that the cuts of meat were explained for each of the dishes. Some of them were visible in the see-through fridge which joined the kitchen to the main dining area.
“Nibbles” of Polish kabanos were served with a mustard mayo which was just the right side of spicy. We moved onto starters. A huge portion of delicious chicken liver pate was served on two enormous slices of Polish bread along with a tasty onion chutney.
That was Mrs Punter satisfied. I was less so. I opted for the cured salmon with nori, balsamic and treacle dressing and confit hen’s yolk. The salmon was nicely cured and the yolk was still runny however there was so much nori that the dish was a little salty. It was a shame because the combination of flavours had promised great things.
Onto mains. I went for the lamb of the day which turned out to be neck, a cut I had not had before. It was well cooked and the skin nicely crisped. It came with beurre noisette cauliflower, lamb jus and some nicely crisped potatoes. Also on the plate was a mint mayo which was a refreshing take on mint sauce. I was also persuaded to opt for the mash instead of the chips. This was on the promise that they were made using Joel Robuchon’s method. It turns out that he can make mash better than I can, which is annoying.
Mrs Punter went for the truffle and white onion risotto with parmesan, tahini onions and a crispy poached egg. The risotto was well-cooked and had a lovely punch of truffle, but the inside of the egg was more hard boiled. Admittedly the menu didn’t set out what the yolk would be like but “poached” does give the impression of a runny yolk.
As ever, we opted for the cheese course instead of desserts. £12 brought an Isle of Mull black wax Cheddar, Burt’s Blue and a Tunworth. Three very different cheeses but all very tasty and the rosemary crackers were a crunchy delight.
Although the menu and service suggest fine dining, the décor is more casual and in keeping with the 19-Century pub’s Maritime origins, with murals of pirates and parrots. Overall there is a lot to like about the venue and the food and it’ll be interesting to see if Slawomir pushes for a star, just as Winteringham Fields did, or if he’s happy with the accolades the venue has already received – such as two AA Rosettes; County Winner at The National Pub and Bar Awards 2021; a Bib Gourmand in the Michelin Guide and being featured in the Harden’s Rated 2021.
Visit The Hope and Anchor for more information, menus and to book.