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Grey Horse, Balerno

The word is out about the superb sticky toffee pudding

The gasto pub in The Grey Horse at Balerno

Chef John Keenan arrived at The Grey Horse recently with a strong CV and promised something different for the popular gastro pub in the heart of Balerno.

Well, he has lived up to his promise. Glasgow-born John has created a varied all-day menu which has enough to satisfy even the most hungry diner.

And the atmosphere in the cosy pub complements the food.

The former Royal Navy chef has used his considerable experience from top restaurants in Glasgow and Ayrshire, his spell in the private Glasgow Art Club where he cooked for

private functions, exhibitions and the local Rotary Club, and a post in a top Lothians hotel to provide real taste and value.

We popped in for lunch which is served Tuesday to Saturday (Sunday is a day for a roast dinner) and there were seven starters. The haggis scotch egg with coronation dressing

looked different and it was, particularly with the smooth sauce which contained a hint of curry, proving an ideal starter.

The soup of the day was cream of mushroom which came home-made ciabatta bread with a hint of garlic. Butter was provided but there was no need as the bread was packed with flavour and was wonderfully moist. The subtle taste of the ingredients in the soup were allowed to flourish.

There were also seven mains. The GH burger with cheese, bacon, secret sauce and skinny chips proved five-star. The house pie of the moment – it was steak – was a whopping portion covered by a light pastry and filled to the brim with an aromatic sauce and meat which fell apart at the touch of a fork. It arrived with smoked mash and buttered greens. Ideal.

The fish special was sea bass which arrived on an attractive bed of green beans and mash with a delicate pesto sauce which provided an interesting foil for the delicate tasting fish.

Most of us were full but one could not resist the sticky toffee date pudding with a wonderfully rich salted caramel sauce and clotted cream ice cream. It was a triumph in taste and texture so we all had a taste. Everybody loved it.

Service was slick and the attraction of real ales from the award-winning public bar ticked another box. So, John, congratulations. The word is now out, particularly about the pudding.

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