FANCY a decent lunch? Simple food, well presented by smiling staff and with a bill which won’t break the bank?
Generations of Leeds people have known just where to go: a famous little fish restaurant. No, not Harry Ramsden’s. We’re talking the Mermaid in Britannia Road at Morley.
It’s been a well respected since the 1970s when the nearby Asda was one of the first big supermarkets in the region.
It is known for its distinctive building, very angular with huge windows. It made quite an impression on me in the 1970s and still does today.
The Mermaid was known as Fastnet back then but changed its name in 1981 when the current owner’s dad took over. It didn’t change its approach, though: a simple menu and a keen price. I went back recently for a meal with my wife, sister and dad and the four of us enjoyed a decent meal, with an alcoholic drink each, for £52 all in. A pudding each would have taken the bill to just over £70 but frankly we were full.
It was a Sunday evening when we arrived and it seems we missed the rush. The biggest surprise for me was the Mermaid doesn’t restrict itself to fish these days. It dominates but there are other ‘pub grub’ staples such as beef and ale pie, lasagne and sausage and mash. Most dishes are around £10.
I went for scampi (£9.95), my wife had haddock (£9.45), my sister beef and ale pie (£10.95) and my dad chose off senior citizens menu and had a slightly smaller piece of haddock and fewer chips with bread and a cup of tea (£8).
All were simple dishes but well received. The haddock was good – nice pieces of fish, well cooked in crispy batter. The chips were plentiful, even from the senior citizens’ menu. They came with mushy peas and curry sauce. My sister’s beef and ale pie was plentiful and seemed home-made. It was tasty and the meat was excellent. My scampi, served with plentiful chips and a huge tub of mushy peas- great.
If you didn’t fancy fish you can try chicken milanaise (chicken wrapped in parma ham with tomato, basil, mushroom and cream sauce) or sausage and mash.
We ordered a round of drinks – a Bell’s whisky with lemonade (£2.45), a bottle of Budweiser (£2.95), half a pint of shandy and a large white wine (£3). Now, the white wine wasn’t the best but there aren’t many places which would serve you a large measure for £3. Most places charge double that so I guess you get what you pay for.
We didn’t indulge in a pudding but we were tempted. The menu included a range of sponges from treacle or lemon and ginger to sticky toffee and spotted dick, plus cheesecakes, fudge cakes and fresh fruit.
For £52, we were impressed. The service was impeccable and came with a smile and the food was excellent value.
Mermaid, Britannia Road, Morley