When it comes to food and drink I have to confess that I can be a bit of a snob. I have never done the university living thing but have been in a few student bars in my time. They are not my cup of tea and I am not a fan of the sticky floors, plastic cups and smells of vomit that infest many of them. So when I was asked to go to Black Dog Ballroom on New Wakefield Street I wasn’t expecting much. Here will be a difficult situation for me to write about was my first thought…
The entrance is welcoming with warm lighting and the black dog signage I have come to expect from these venues. The New Wakefield Street branch has three floors with its own nightclub aptly named Underdog, well it is literally under dog, and a roof terrace for better weather days with a BBQ. Unfortunately we visited mid week and the weather wasn’t particularly great so we spent our time in the main bar with its diner style booths.
There are 4 pool tables available for hire by the hour, much more affordable than pumping £1 coins in every time you get beat!
Bar wise I was expecting the usual student offerings of jager-bombs and cheap beer. I was in for a surprise when I noticed a decent prosecco at only £4.60 a glass! Even more of a surprise was the bottle of Hunters Cheshire Gin on the back bar. One of our favourites, Charlie had some with tonic.
We started with the meat platter to share. Huge and crispy onion rings, a mountain of spicy chilli nachos, crispy chicken wings and slithers of steak nearly defeated us before our mains had even arrived. The steak strips were a bit dull; they had a kick of spice but were like something you can buy pre-packed at the supermarket. That said, they were incredibly moreish. The star of the platter was the chilli nachos. The chilli was wonderfully spicy with a great consistency; really thick and not watery like some can be. Overall a pleasant surprise and, had we not already ordered, we wouldn’t have needed any mains!
I ordered the pulled pork sandwich from the specials menu whilst Charlie went a bit healthier with the roast pepper and goats cheese wrap. The pork was soft, as it should be, with a lovely sweetness from the BBQ sauce. I’d have preferred normal potato chips instead of sweet potato as the whole thing ended up a little too sweet but they were crispy with a good dose of salt. On their own they would have been lovely.
Charlie’s wrap was good with lots of salty goats cheese and sweet pepper that worked well together. She had mixed fries so could vary between normal and sweet potato. A lovely touch and our waitress had asked which option she would prefer. The staff here are friendly, welcoming and really down to earth offering advice on the menu when asked. Our waitress recommended the bean burger with extra goats cheese on top but it just wasn’t for me. She was so passionate about it though and that was a lovely touch.
Would I go back? Absolutely! The food is fantastic value for money and, well, I am a student after all. Albeit a part time one but still… any excuse…
*Huge thanks to Charlie for taking the majority of these photographs.
We were guests of Black Dog Ballroom so didn’t pay for our meal. As always, this review is completely honest and unbiased.