Eat & Bleat: Clinch’s of Chichester

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Here’s the timewaster herself. The 7th Wonder will be 2 next month and she is still sleeping in the same bed with Slaveboy and I. She’s articulate enough to ask for (but will not get) an iPad but somehow the idea of sleeping in her own bed is baffling to her. The 7th Wonder is an accomplished bed-hopper, switching between our bed and Lalla’s (14 year old sister).
Needless to say, Slaveboy and I relish the tiny moments we steal away from the family. We haven’t had much escapades as our Bonnie & Clyde personas but you can often find us popping out for a cheeky bag of chips and a tub of Hagen Dazs.
Slaveboy is not adverse to the idea of driving miles looking for a quiet place in the country lanes where we could appreciate our bag of chips. I can safely assure you that we are the people to come to if you want to know where NOT to park if all you plan to be doing is eating a bag of chips.
Disclaimer: I’m not judging you if you’re not a secret chip eater. Seriously.
And I’m pretty sure you don’t need me to tell you that in certain social circles turning on your internal car light whilst parked does not mean that you’ve dropped your keys and you’re trying to find them. No. No. No.
Recently, Clinch’s of Chichester – a day time restaurant situated next to Slaveboy’s shop on Guildhall Street reopened and we headed there to sample what they had to offer.
The first test that they passed was the cappuccino test. I’m sure I’ve ranted about this before. I absolutely abhor the two inches of froth I get whenever I order cappuccino in many establishments. I want coffee. I want to pay for coffee. Not two inches of milk encrusted-air filled bubbles. Their cappuccino was satisfactory, came in a cup not too big. None of that mammoth sized ones which I’m sure contributes to Repetitive Strain Injury on some people.
We both went for their £7.50 lunch bowls. I almost went poncey and ordered the tagliatelle and chicken something but Slaveboy decided on the lamb shank and I’m not one for letting him consume a dish with more calories than mine.

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I was half expecting one of those ready made boil in a bag sweaty, steamy version. And Smash for mashed potatoes. I was delighted to be proven wrong.

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Check out that sticky, caramelised glaze on the bone. It was delicious. The meat was tender, not fully falling off the bone (which I’m not a fan of all the time) and it was flavoursome.

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The mashed potatoes was creamy, substantial – not watery. The redcurrants were more than just a nice touch. It added a genuine depth of flavour. It would have been too easy for them to opt for the easier and cheaper option of a sickly sweet artificial flavoured sauce.

If I were to make any criticism at all, I thought the chef was too light on his seasoning BUT that is no big deal. I just added more salt to mine.

So if what you need is a real hearty dish that doesn’t cost the earth, you couldn’t do much better than Clinch’s. I’d even overlook the fact that on their menu paninis had been spelt with an apostrophe before the s.


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