I arrived early in the evening and was welcomed by the team who made me at home at a table overlooking the live acoustic musician who was just warming up for his set.
I sipped a glass of crisp house white wine as I decided what to order from a menu which includes New York sirloin steak, burgers, Southern style pulled pork sandwich and classics such as traditional fish and chips.
The choice of starters all sounded good, with my eye caught by both the salt and pepper calamari and the pulled pork nachos. I eventually decided to begin the meal with a portion of peri peri chicken goujons, which are available as a starter or a main, wrapped in beer batter and served with spicy harissa mayo or lemon aioli. When these were served I was immediately impressed by the rich golden colour of the batter. In my experience, the more golden the batter the better it tastes. My theory was proved correct as I tried my first bite, finding that the batter was as crispy and tasty as it looked, with tender and succulent chicken within. The bed of mixed green salad this was served on provided a perfect light and fresh contrast to the rich batter. The harissa mayo was obviously homemade, with a chunky thick texture and a wonderfully spicy kick from the harissa. I soon finished the entire plate , and next time I would order these as a main as they were just irresistible, served in a generous portion and so tasty as well. Pure comfort food, ideal to share with friends over a bottle of wine.
Never a day goes by when I am not in the mood for a pizza, but I have to say I am fairly fussy. I always prefer a traditional Italian style pizza where possible, cooked in a wood fired oven or stone baked for preference. I like a good thin and crispy base and even better if it is slightly charred around the edges. I deliberated over the options which included Diavola, Florentine, Fungi and BBQ pizzas, but continuing with the chicken theme I opted for the Pollo. In no time, the pizza was whisked to the table and it was topped with chicken, white onion and sundried tomato as well as heaps of melted mozzarella. The base was crispy perfection and the toppings worked well together as a flavour combination with the tangy white onion contrasting well against the tender chicken and sweet sundried tomato. The slight charring I was looking for was also in evidence and the dough had bubbled up nicely at the edges during cooking. Not that I am a pizza fanatic or anything!
With the chicken peri peri goujons and pizza eagerly devoured, I did not need much more, but I still chose a side order of sweet potato fries which I always find irresistible. I was also tempted by the beer battered onion rings but I thought not even I could possibly eat anything else, although never say never!
The ambience in the Around The World Bar and Lounge was really good and the live music was amazing too. There was a really good vibe in the air as the singer played an acoustic set and the restaurant and bar filled up. I like the decor of stripped back wood paneling, fairy lights and the sweeping bar area which features pot plants and wooden display shelves. The quirky, cool and eclectic aesthetic adds to the welcoming atmosphere of ATW Bar & Lounge and it was really busy when I dined.
Alas for once I decided to skip dessert as I was so full after such a huge and hearty meal. I was impressed by the range of choices on offer and I think that everything on the menu is ideal for a relaxed and casual style of dining which you can enjoy whilst having a couple of drinks. There is a real flair for menu development shown too, with more gourmet choices such as sirloin steak and calamari featuring alongside traditional bar food classics such as signature burgers loaded with toppings and chicken, beef or halloumi kebabs. I was impressed to see that the meats and vegetables used in the dishes are locally sourced where possible too.
I had a lovely time sampling the new Around The World Bar & Lounge menu and a big thank you to the team for making me so welcome. I will be popping in to dine here whenever I want simple and satisfying comfort food which is done really well. The service was faultless throughout too and I enjoyed relaxing and watching the live music during my visit.
What do you all think, do you like this casual and relaxed style of dining and which of the dishes on the menu sound appealing to you? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.
Around The World Bar & Lounge
6 Thomas Steers Way,
Until next time,
I was invited to sample the menu at ATW Bar & Lounge. The meal was complimentary for review purposes. All opinions expressed herein are my own and honest.