By Claire Barco
Yes, St. Patrick’s is tomorrow. And if the parade on Saturday didn’t whet your appetite for some good pub grub, I don’t know what will. It certainly did for us, and isn’t it lucky that we had a chance to sample one of the delectable Paddy-themed menus around town? Isn’t it even luckier that the menu we sampled, Malone’s on Tongren Lu, was well worth every penny?
The first item on the menu is the Slow-Braised Lamb Leg, a must for anyone looking to feel like a medieval king…as it is actually an ENTIRE leg of lamb, bone and all, squashing the mash (potatoes) underneath and served with a side of veg. It is tender, delicious, and will set you up proper for all the pints you’re about to scull. If you’re looking for value-for-money, this is your best bet. Though it is the most expensive at 120rmb, you will be shocked by the portion.
Next is the Traditional Irish Lamb Stew at 90rmb. Certainly the most traditional, this was my personal favorite. Tucking in one could actually feel like they were sitting in a pub in Dublin. Served interestingly with garlic bread and steamed vegetables, it is very comforting comfort food.
The cheapest option is the Cottage Pie at 80rmb, and nothing one would imagine when ordering cottage pie. Though not in the least un-delicious, it has a very American taste and is more like meaty spaghetti sauce covered in yellow cheddar than a pie…as it completely lacks the carrots, peas, and surprisingly, mash one would expect.
Next is “Traditional” Sausage Loaf. Though I’d never heard of sausage loaf before, it is still a good option. It is best described as breakfast ham steak, but covered in that tasty mushroom sauce and served with mash and veg you won’t need breakfast the next day, for sure. Expect to pay 95rmb for that one.
Last is the Salmon and Leek at 110rmb, and probably the least memorable. It appeared to be the least economical choice, so if you do order it you may feel like you pay more than your friends for less food. If you’re okay with that, however, you won’t be disappointed in the taste.
Despite the distinct lack of potato in most dishes, everything was very good. It must be mentioned though, that the vegetables had entire too much color, texture, and flavor to compare to the stuff parading as vegetables in the pub grub found in the Emerald Isle. But I’m okay with that.
Wash all this down with a pint of Guinness, a double Baileys, or double Jameson for 50rmb each, and you’re set until next St. Patrick’s.