griffin inn Brecon

I generally go to Brecon about once a month, usually on the second Saturday, to coincide with the Farmers Market. After a hard morning buying the finest local produce, lunch at the local hostelry is normally called for. Occasionally MrsA will demand a lunch upgrade and just to be sure her wish was granted, she'd booked us a table at the Felin Fach Griffin.

Now I've been to the Griffin quite a few times, both for dinner and lunch, which should already tell you something; so I had no problem with MrsA's choice. After stocking up on stuff for the larder and the freezer, we jumped in the car and headed for the large pink building on the side of the A470 that proclaims "Eat, Drink, Sleep".

After a quick perusal of the menu, we both decided to go for the Summer Set Lunch which is a bit of a bargain at £18.90 for three courses.

Chicken Liver SaladFor starters I chose the Salad of Chicken Livers & Endive with Black Pudding & Pancetta, while MrsA had the Brown Shrimp Cocktail with Melba Toast. My salad was excellent, with the chicken livers cooked to perfection, rich in flavour whilst still being soft, moist and pink on the inside. The endive providing a nice texture contrast along with the pancetta whilst counterbalancing the richness of the livers and black pudding.

Brown Shrimp CocktailMrsA's shrimp was good but by far not the best starter that she has had at the Griffin. The shrimp were too delicate for that Marie Rose cocktail sauce; the sauce was way too big for those tiny shrimp.

Slow Roast LambFor mains we both chose the Slow Roasted Shoulder of Welsh Lamb, Sharpe's Express Potatoes, Garden Peas, Fine Beans & Feta Cheese. Let me get the worst of this dish over with first, the Feta Cheese. It was a really nice Feta and I totally get why it was there, it was bringing some saltiness into the dish and worked well with the potatoes and veg. The trouble was that it totally overpowered the delicate flavour of the lamb, killed it stone dead in fact. The dish really needed a much milder version to work. Employing a little ingenuity we came up with a simple solution to the problem; we both just ate all the cheese first!

With the cheese gone, we could concentrate on the rest of the dish and this was a dish that demanded full concentration. The lamb was juicy and succulent with a lovely delicate flavour, the potatoes expertly seasoned and the peas and beans super fresh. Top notch!

Dark Chocolate NemesisFor dessert MrsA went for the Dark Chocolate Nemesis with Mango Sorbet, whilst I opted for the New Season Plum "Crumble" with Mascapone Ice Cream. The plums, cooked halved, were a little too "new season" for my taste; still a little too acidic and not quite soft enough. The crumble and the ice cream were right on the money though and almost managed to rescue things. Almost but not quite. MrsA was in a chocolate craving mood and loved her very intense chocolate dessert balanced by the lightness of the tropical sorbet.Plum Crumble

Despite the few minor niggles I've outlined above, you'll be hard pressed to find a better lunch for the money. The Griffin uses the finest of Welsh ingredients and for the most part, combines them in innovative ways that are delectable. With good food, friendly and helpful staff and plenty of atmosphere; if you're anywhere near Brecon you really should pay a visit.

The Felin Fach Griffin, Felin Fach, Brecon, Powys. Tel: 01874 620111. Web: www.eatdrinksleep.ltd.uk

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