The Pint Shop on George Street has been open for a while since deciding to replicate a successful business in Cambridge. After the dust had settled following the usual opening buzz, I checked in on a busy Friday service to see how its getting on.
First things first, most restaurants that aren’t set within a pub tend to focus on food with drink as an accompanying aid, but not here; drink is the first thing you see in the bar. This is a decent shout for anyone looking for drinking spot, but we had opted for food so we ventured down to the basement to check out the culinary offerings.
There’s plenty of variety on offer (you can check the Dinner Menu here), but I was drawn to the Southern Fried Chicken with Saffron Aioli (pictured) to start. Priced at £6.50 this was a solid foundation. Combined with a pint of Adnams Broadside I settled in to catching up with my two mates in what was a relaxed but busy enough atmosphere. Whilst one of my friends had the same as me to start (and main, but both were on his recommendation!), the other had the Shrimp Pasty with Pickled Red Onion (pictured) which was also tasty. (Of course I had to try some!). We all agreed that the starters left us warmed up for a solid feed, but wanting our mains; I went for the Devilled Lamb Shoulder Kebab with Flat Bread and Chilli Sauce (pictured) priced at £12.50, just as one of my friends did while the other ordered the Overnight Pork Belly, Braised Hispy Cabbage, Apple & Mustard Sauce (pictured) priced at £15.00.
I’ve got to say at this point that the waitress who looked after us did a brilliant job of advertising which sides to have with our meals. Mine was simple; what does anyone pair with a kebab? Of course it’s chips, in this case of the House variety (£3.50). My friend Tom had the Scalloped Potatoes with Baron Bigod Cheese with his Pork (£3.50). The pictures I hope do it justice, but it was good food, in a lively venue, accompanied by a great choice of ales.
I think to sum things up it’s enough to say that I would go here without the food as the variety of drinks, particularly ales and beers is appealing. The combination of simple, tasty and reasonably priced means it’s now a focal point in the city centre as the starting point for an evening with friends. It’s interesting that I came to this conclusion, as I think anyone would, without reading The Pint Shop’s vision on their website . Here’s an excerpt:
“Pint Shop is all about creating a place that embraces eating and drinking equally. A place where you feel equally at home having a few beers, a light lunch or a full blown feast. A place where people from all walks of life, rub shoulders with each other.”
It does exactly what it says above. My rating is a solid 9/10 – great atmosphere, food and drinks.