So Spring has sprung, and after the best part of a week spent observing the sun beating through my classroom window and trying to ignore the general unpleasantness of teenage boys in shorts, I had had enough. I donned a suitably pastel outfit and embarked on a Thursday night trip into Didsbury, trying to ignore the light rain just starting to fall, and considered sitting outside The Didsbury, just for a tiny second. Of course we sat inside, not outside, but the thought was there.
A glass of wine later and we moved on to The Fat Loaf, a recent recipient of a glowing review on this very site just a few weeks ago. Standards looked to have been maintained, or even raised, with the introduction of a short menu of champagne cocktails, and my mood really couldn't have been higher. Until my starter arrived. When paying £5.95 for a starter of haddock kedgeree I think it's fair to expect a reasonable piece of ocean life to be found atop one's rice, rather than the wafer-thin sliver eventually located hiding under a grain or two. Yes it was delicious, but come on Fat Loaf, don't start getting mean with portion sizes.
The same couldn't be said of the mixed grill that followed; I have never had a mixed grill before, considering it a boy's meal, but as I'd had such a lady-like cocktail (and such an unintentionally modest starter) I felt fully justified in venturing onto this new and slightly frightening territory. And to be fair, it is a very genteel mixed grill, featuring, amongst other joys, a dainty piece of steak and a chicken thigh stuffed with a glamorous and frankly not very manly combination of sage and apricots. Despite this, it is advisable to have a male with you, to take care of the black pudding slice found cruelly lurking under the salad.
Back to prices though, and the blue cheese sauce ordered at a supplement of £1.50 turned out to be simply a piece of butter - flavoursome cheesy butter I'll grant you, but rather uninspiring nevertheless. So all in all a decent meal, but was it as good as last time? Not even close. On a high point though, I did successfully wear white and manage to avoid spilling anything at all down myself; real signs of progress in this department.