Written on: 07/07/2010 by HereHareHere (11 reviews written)
My sister and I decided to have lunch at the New Inn on a hot, sunny day, mainly because it's nicely situated next to the canal and they have plenty of tables with umbrellas in the garden. Shardlow has seven pubs, plus an Indian restaurant and a restaurant at the nearby marina, and if the New Inn wishes to compete, then it urgenyly needs to pull its socks up. The menu was extensive (too extensive) and included a specials board. Our food and drink order was taken by a sullen, charmless, unsmiling barmaid to whom the words 'please' and 'thank you' were clearly unfamilliar.
My sister and I both ordered from the specials board, she having the seafood medley and me the Thai fishcakes, both with salad and chips. Both dishes came to just under £10 each. We waited for about half an hour for the food to arrive out to us in the garden, delivered by a marginally less miserable waitress. Unfortunately, Miss Charisma behind the bar hadn't bothered to tell us that diners had to collect their own cutlery and condiments and the waitress didn't offer to get us them when I pointed out we hadn't any, so my sister had to go instead.
The food was beyond a joke. My Thai fishcakes had obviously come straight out of a cardboard box and were vile. Ditto the seafood medley my unfortunate sister had ordered. This consisted of various battered lumps of dry fish which had been baked in the oven and had been nowhere near a deep-fat fryer. The accompaniments were bone-dry oven chips and two pathetic side salads made up of two quarters of a tomato, two dried up slices of cucumber and some tiny shreds of far-from fresh lettuce and carrot - absolutely appalling. To add insult to injury, the condiments, even the salt and pepper, came in those ridiculous little packets that are just about impossible to open and deliver a miserable squirt of mayo or sauce, mostly over your fingers. WHY do certain eating establishments persist in using these horrible, infantile things?
As I said before, there are plenty more places to enjoy a decent lunch in Shardlow rather than the New Inn. On the same road is the Navigation Inn which does superb, cooked to order food at very similar prices, but the contrast between the two establishments couldn't be more marked. The New Inn needs to pare down its menu drastically, buy some fresh, local produce and employ a proper chef rather than a microwave operative. Oh, and teaching its staff to smile at and greet customers properly wouldn't go amiss either. It's a pity, because the New Inn is in a lovely spot and is still nice to go to for a drink - just make sure you avoid the food at all costs.