It was nice to sit in a homely cosy place on a cold Wintry evening and I liked our large wooden table with the benched seating.
Our waitress was friendly and offered advice over our menu choices and really gave high praise to the steak special making us all drool for it and raised our expectations....
Kafalograviera saganaki with zaatar, grilled Turkish bread and lemon
Salt and pepper calamari served with rocket, lemon and aioli
Buttermilk fried chicken tenderloins with smoked chipotle mayonnaise
Crispy lamb short ribs with warmed hummus, harissa and jus
Strange that the waitress didn't assist with the lamb short ribs order as only two ribs arrived so we kinda shredded the meat off the bone and each had a mouthful. It would have been nicer to have a rib each and we did ask that by sharing all these items whether we'd have enough...Stand out dish was probably the fried chicken - boneless tenderloins true to their name by being tender and in spite of being deep fried, remained juicy.
Between us for main courses we had:
14 hour pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw and southern BBQ sauce served with fries
Boeuf bourguignon pie served with creamy mash potato, peas, carrot and thyme puree
Fish `n ́ chips, battered or grilled served with salad and homemade tartare sauce
Steak special with potatoes, onions and chimmichurri
The two boys had the pie and it looked nice enough if a bit dry. Steve said it was fine but I think Noah would have liked some gravy. Steve's ok with dry food.
The fish and chips were ok - just fish and chips but a bit greasy.
Stef and I shared the sandwich and the steak. The boys helped with the steak though as it was pretty big. The steak had been overhyped. It was a good texture and there was a sweetness to it from the marinade and the chimichurri was pretty zippy. Stef said it didn't live up to expectation. Steve didn't like the smokiness and said the chimichurri was too overpowering. I liked the texture and thought that alone raised the quality given we were in a pub. I didn't mind the smoky sweetness from the BBQ but agreed the chimichurri was too vinegary,
The pulled pork sandwich was pleasantly good. Soft roll, sweet pork and coleslaw.
Overall the Gem provided us with a filling meal at ok prices. I wouldn't rush back but it wasn't the worst place to dine. I liked the cosiness of the dining areas and the food whilst not faultless was decent pub food.