Showcasing local produce, with an emphasis on seafood, the interior is a smart pub dining room with elegant stained glass to the fore.Upon arrival, the friendly waiter showed me to a bright window table and brought both the lunchtime and a la carte menus.
At lunchtime, two courses are £9.95 which looked to be pretty good value. From the wide selection on the set menu I started with their fish soup, then followed with a pork tenderloin, sauasage and egg dish.The soup was soon with me and looked like a classic rendition. It proved to be very tasty, with good depth of flavour and a profusion of neatly chunked vegetables. It was a pleasing opener.
The main course was essentially an upscale twist on a traditional breakfast. A bubble and squeak cake was first, then kale was layered on top with a beautifully poached egg crowning things. A good quality sausage sat alongside a piece of roast tenderloin, somewhat in lieu of bacon.
For me, the pork was just a touch overcooked, but it still packed good flavour and moisture. A rich sauce brought things together making it a deliciously satisfying dish.
So overall, I was quite impressed by City Merchant. It certainly represented a good value lunch, as both dishes were of very good quality and the price was very reasonable. I’d be happy to visit again as there were many other dishes on the menu that appealed.
Blythe scores City Merchant
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14.5/20
I ate: fish soup; pork fillet, sausage and poached egg
I drank: water
I wore: brogues
Total bill: £9.95