Sometimes all you want after a busy day at work is a good pub meal and someone else doing the washing up.
The National in Hull’s National Avenue has undergone a makeover, seeing fresh décor and leather booth-style seating take over the popular eatery.
We decided to go for tea on a Wednesday night after work, and it was great to see the pub busy but with spare tables awaiting us.
We ordered our beers at the bar and sat on the comfiest-looking seating – a leather settee – and started the important task of choosing our meals.
The pub had a great atmosphere, with everyone enjoying their meals, and we couldn’t believe the cost of some of the dishes.
On the classics menu you can get two mains for just £8 during the week, which includes chicken tikka masala, lentil and parsnip cottage pie, fish and chips and beef & red wine lasagne, as well as much more.
If you’re on a health kick, there are also options such as the superfood salad consisting of bulgar wheat, chickpeas, grilled courgette and sultanas, as well as sweet potato, lentil and spinach dhansak – a completely vegan choice.
The pub also has a designated “chip shop” section on the menu, which has meals such as cod and chips, battered halloumi, British steak pie and roast chicken on offer, and then there is the grill section with its ultimate plates.
Carnivores can get their hands on a mega mixed grill for just a tenner, with rump steak, gammon steak, chicken fillet, three sausages, chips, onion rings and veg, or the Whole Hog (£11.99) – BBQ pulled pork, pork sausages, gammon steak, half rack of baby ribs, chips, onion rings, BBQ beans and corn.
There’s also sweet and sour crispy Quorn, Hunter’s chicken, chicken katsu, lamb koftas, loaded steaks, burgers and so much more.
It certainly took us a while to choose.
In the end, we went for the bourbon glazed chicken wings with blue cheese dip (£3.99) and the southern fried chicken pieces with peri-peri sauce and sour cream (£3.29) to start.
They arrived within about 15 minutes, and were piping hot, and we couldn’t believe how much was on the plate.
I must have had about ten chicken wings covered in a sticky glaze, and I was full up just after making my way through the first course.
They were tasty and succulent, but my only criticism would be you need a wet wipe with them, as you’re left with extremely sticky fingers.
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I was told the southern fried chicken was lovely and crispy, and the dips added a nice mix of cool and spicy flavours.
We ordered another beer each while we waited for our mains, and another 15 minutes later we were served our sizzling mains.
I went for the chicken fajitas, which arrived on a sizzler and were certainly making some noise, and my dining partner chose The South Carolina – 8oz sirloin steak topped with prawns in garlic butter, with tomato, mushroom, onion rings and chips (£11.29).
Again, this was on a sizzler, so we had to wait a few minutes for the heat to die down before we could tuck in.
My fajitas saw strips of chicken breast beautifully barbecued on a bed of onions and red peppers, with another plate of four tortilla wraps and a selection of dips including jalapenos, guacamole, salsa, cheddar cheese and soured cream (£6.79).
The fajitas were really tasty, and I would definitely choose them again, but I just couldn’t eat them all- there is so much for the money.
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I was told the steak was tasty and soft, but the main winner was the garlic sauce draped over the top.
Our server was lovely and friendly, and told us the halloumi fajitas were something extra special to try, but we had to decline her kind offer of dessert.
We were filled to the brim without breaking the bank, but we hadn’t skimped on quality or flavour.
I usually associate pub chains with microwaved burgers and rubbery chicken, but The National has changed my mind.
I will certainly be back again for a midweek tea that will fit in with my budget.
- 19 National Avenue, Hull, HU5 4HP
- Open 10am to midnight every day
- 01482 498921
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