Old Grey Mare, 193 Cottingham Road, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU5 2EG.
Old Grey Mare, 193 Cottingham Rd, Hull, Kingston upon Hull HU5 2EG, UK
The Old Grey Mare is part of Spirit Pub Company's Flaming Grill pub brand (The Sailmakers on St Andrews Quay is also a Spirit pub, but of the Fayre & Square brand) on Cottingham Road opposite the University of Hull. There is a small car park to the front with more parking and a beer garden to the rear of the pub.
The pub has a cross between table service and bar service. You are required to go to the bar initially to place an order, but when you have done so you are given the option of opening a tab. This is done by giving them a credit or debit card to swipe. After this, you can then order additional items at your table from your server.
This was visited on a Saturday lunch time and was very quiet. This may have been because it was a weekend near the end of the university term, leading to few students using the place, or because there was a football match on at the same time at the city's stadium.
Cutlery and napkins are available on the table, although a steak knife was brought with the steak and a spoon with the dessert, and a container of various bottled sauces is brought over. The napkins were rather small, not being big enough to be useful.
The food was ordered from the main menu, although there are several offers available during the week as well as a Sunday Lunch.
The drink ordered was a large draught Pepsi; a regular Pepsi could be upgraded to a large for £0.30 extra. This was as good as can be expected from a draught soft drink.
The starter ordered was Garlic Bread with Cheese. This was comprised of three slices of lightly grilled garlic bread, made from slices of what appeared to be French bread with some type of green herb on it. The garlic bread was topped with grated and melted Cheddar cheese, and was also available without cheese.
This was a perfectly fine starter, although it could also be had as a side with the main course. The bread hadn't been overcooked, the cheese was perfectly melted and it did taste of garlic, although not strongly. This was a small and cheap starter.
The main course ordered was an 8oz Rump Steak. The steak came with chips, but these could be replaced with either a salad or a jacket potato, or instead changed to criss-cross chips for £0.99 extra. There were quite a few options available to customise the steak. These were to add a sauce for £1, to add a topper for £1.50, to add a sauce, topper or a side of chips, onion rings or salad for £2.20 or to add a steak garnish consisting of button mushrooms, grilled tomato, crispy onion rings and peas for £1.75, or a combination of these. The steak was ordered with Cracked Black Peppercorn Sauce.
The steak came on a circular wooden platter with a handle. Inset into one side were a semicircular metal skillet on which were the steak and some sizzling onions underneath it. On the other side was a semicircular dish, on which were the chips and a bowl of HP Steak Sauce.
The pepper sauce came separately and was served in a dish. This didn't taste that strongly of pepper, which isn't uncommon, tasting more creamy than anything else. It would have been more convenient if the sauce was in a jug, rather than the dish, as it would have made pouring it easier. It's also advised not to pour the sauce onto the steak whilst the skillet is sizzling, as this results in a cloud of steam and boils away some of the sauce.
The steak was ordered rare and came that way, which is not always the case with rare steak, as so often it comes either medium or closer to raw than anything else. This was a nice cut of steak, and was tender with little fat.
The dessert ordered was a Triple Choc Waffle. This was a small vanilla waffle, served warm, that was topped with a scoop of chocolate flavour ice cream, cream, chocolate flavour sauce and topped with pieces of Cadbury's chocolate flake.
The cream was not that obviously cream; it actually appeared to be vanilla ice cream. The dessert was a decent size, but not enormous, and was tasty enough.
The total price for the three course meal including drink came to £15.69. The ability to open a tab at the bar is very useful if dining alone, as otherwise it's necessary to leave the table during a meal if anything else is wanted. The service was quick and the food was decent. The Old Grey Mare was a relatively cheap and nice enough meal out. 3/5.