The Shireland is located approx 10 mins M5 junction 1, The Hawthorns is only 5-7 minutes away, the neon blue lights outside really do ensure you do not miss it.
Appearance & Entry:
Walking in, it seems like this place is either really well maintianed or it has recently had a facelift, the colour scheme and the whole layout makes me question whether I am in fact in the Soho Tavern. Parking on the main road is plentiful and not an issue, a few seconds walk from car and you have arrived.
Walking In & Bar:
Once again let’s not make no bones about this, this is a very male dominated desi pub, locals and regulars seem to be at the core of the pubs trade, this is our second visit and each time we have got that feel that is by no means a bad thing. If you want to have a few beers and a bite in a desi male dominated place this ticks a lot of boxes. The place is clean and looks well maintained.
If you are catering for that desi clientel then you must ensure the your spirit game is strong, and The Shireland has got this right.
The Carling was good, and crisp, if going for lager I would advise sticking to that, as it seems to be the most used pull and in-turn the best pint.
Getting a seat was not an issue as the place is not very busy, a few in, but we are not climbing over each other, so hopefully service will be quick. We order a large mixed grill and curries all to be be delivered to us at the same time we are informed it will be 25 minutes, which seems fair enough. Our food arrived just under 30 mins which was just perfect.
First things first, this is not as large as other pubs, remember the Red Cow’s offerings also in Smehwick, well this is no where near, for large grill this is not the best size portion. Hopefully it is quality and not quantity.
Chicken Tikka and wings are both well marinated, wings had a good amount of meat on, the spice was good on both the tikka and the wings are impressive.
The Chicken lollipop is something more pubs are beginning to offer, but if doing so, make sure a decent amount of meat is on them, these are good, one is impressed.
The lamp chops, and Kebab are both not as impressive as the chicken on offering, the lamb is overdone, and due to the size of it the meat content is not enough to judge, the kebab seems to be just offered because everyone else does.
The lamb disappointed, but the chicken was impressive.
Chicken Tikka Masala: The cream and colour look fantastic, the amount of sauce and meat on offer is good, more meat in this than in our grill lol. The chicken is again impressing well marinated and I can see why it has impressed a few.
Lamb Curry: As with the dish above, the meat is plentiful and the sauce again looks impressive, but for some reason it is not as good as the chicken curry, it is not a bad dish, but nothing really shines, it is just very middle of the road.
If it is a good old lads night/venue you are after, then you will not go far wrong here, the atmosphere is joyful and loud, it is very male dominated, this is a desi joint, and with a desi feel. The sizzler delivered when it came to the chicken, the quality of the meat and the amount, cooked well and the marinated meat was full of flavour, the size was not impressive, which meant we had to order more as we were in a group of 3. The lamb was the let down, both as a part of the grill and the curry, I just felt it was either overdone (chops) and bland (Curry and Kebabs), on both visits that has been the feedback (two different groups, 3 weeks apart).
The chicken curry, impressed as did the all the chicken, if you like a Carling and some tikka to nibble on then this might be the place for you, 100% we will be going back, and forget the sabji hunter the Chop hunter will be with us.