Notification Settings

Subscribe to one or all notification sources from this one place.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the day's top stories sent directly to you.

Food Review: Burgers fit for royalty at The Kings Arms, Eccleshall

After searching high and low for the ultimate bad boy burger, Dan Morris meets his match and finally discovers a towering feast worthy of the crown.

WEEKEND COPYRIGHT TIM STURGESS EXPRESS AND  STAR...... 17/02/2022 Food review of Kings Arms Hotel, Eccleshall, Staffs. The continental fatboy burger..
WEEKEND COPYRIGHT TIM STURGESS EXPRESS AND STAR...... 17/02/2022 Food review of Kings Arms Hotel, Eccleshall, Staffs. The continental fatboy burger..

Long have I scoured the Earth ladies and gentlemen, in search of that most mythical of beasts.

Far and wide I have travelled; acting on every whisper, folk tale and nugget of hearsay to come across my path – always hopeful, but perpetually disappointed.

A driven and devout pilgrim, I have never faltered in my quest, yet recently came close to laying down my crusader’s cutlery forever. Never mind a Mercedes Benz – oh Lord, won’t you buy me, a truly beautiful burger that can beat me?

And then, finally, a light shone...

Situated in the heart of the historic market town of Eccleshall, The Kings Arms has proven itself a force to be reckoned with in the area’s dining scene for several years. Consistently delighting customers pre-pandemic with a renowned Sunday carvery as well as a diverse à la carte menu available through the week, the pub-restaurant kept its customers happy throughout the lockdowns with its Kings At Home service.

WEEKEND COPYRIGHT TIM STURGESS EXPRESS AND STAR...... 17/02/2022 Food review of Kings Arms Hotel, Eccleshall, Staffs. ...

Since (fingers firmly crossed) the final exorcism of Covid-19 restaurant restrictions, The Kings had supposedly come back swinging, and – having denied myself the pleasure of its cuisine for some time – I was eager to give it a go, and explore a fresh rumour of what for me would be nothing less than the Holy Grail.

Dating back to the mid 1500s, The Kings is rich in heritage, and this foundation of its charm is palpable from the moment you walk through the door. Though the pub was refurbished in 2017, none of its historic character has been lost – a fact encapsulated perfectly by the majestic fireplaces of its lounge areas, and the original stables on site that hark back to The Kings’ coaching inn days.

In terms of style, decor, ambience and heart, this place is a country pub to the core. But like so many these days, it boasts a menu far more cosmopolitan than one might traditionally expect, with dishes including a delicious serving of Moroccan lamb cooked in honeyed almonds.

The cosy interior at The Kings Arms Hotel

The good lady and I had pre-booked, and upon our arrival were seated promptly and with a smile. Though diners are welcome to sit in the lounge areas, we opted for a table in the restaurant – a decision that, on a pleasant Sunday afternoon, placed us in wonderful proximity to the aroma of the pub’s legendary carvery counter.

Drinks were ordered and supplied swiftly, and we were then left to peruse the menus (standard and specials) that had been provided.

For the other half, this required relatively careful consideration. My eyes however instantly widened as I spotted the fabled warrior of a dish that a friend had informed me of, and that would perhaps finally pull the sword from the stone.

WEEKEND COPYRIGHT TIM STURGESS EXPRESS AND STAR...... 17/02/2022 Food review of Kings Arms Hotel, Eccleshall, Staffs..

The Kings has long had a reputation for excellent burgers, dedicating an ample section of its menu to these signature offerings, and sourcing its beef from neighbouring butcher, the award-winning Perrys of Eccleshall.

The quality of the meat from Perrys is nationally renowned, and whenever I visit a restaurant in the area that proudly uses it, it is rare that I will abstain. This case would be no exception.

A creation that had not been on offer the last time I visited, the Continental Fatboy burger sits humbly yet daringly as the last item on The Kings’ menu. Comprising a pair of Perrys beef patties loaded with chorizo, bacon and red onion chutney, and then sent into fromage heaven with a generous topping of both Camembert and chilli cheese sauce, what awaited was surely an entirely unapologetic bastion of indulgence.

For a starter, I opted for the lamb kofta balls – tempted as ever by the accompaniment of a mint yoghurt dressing. The lady of the land opted to forego an appetizer, her gaze fixed firmly on a hearty plate of carvery deliciousness.

WEEKEND COPYRIGHT TIM STURGESS EXPRESS AND STAR...... 17/02/2022 Food review of Kings Arms Hotel, Eccleshall, Staffs. Lamb Kofta..

The kofta balls were lip-smackingly good – well-presented with plenty of bite, and just the right level of garlic in the mix. Naturally, the traditional accompaniment of mint yoghurt gave the perfect flavour balance. My good lady approached the carvery bench, and when she returned she was beholden with an ample feast with all the trimmings. A selection of four meats were available, though on this occasion she opted to stick with a generous portion of turkey only, though accompanied by an impressive range of veg.

As the Continental Fatboy approached, salivation kicked in. Skewered with a steak knife, the colossal beast stood tall and proud.

WEEKEND COPYRIGHT TIM STURGESS EXPRESS AND STAR...... 17/02/2022 Food review of Kings Arms Hotel, Eccleshall, Staffs. The continental fatboy burger..

As I cut into the burger the beefy aroma that hit me was divine, and it was already clear that the succulent Perrys patties had been cooked to perfection. Drawing on every thread of physics knowledge I possessed, I managed to take a bite that included all of the burger’s elements, and the result was a taste sensation. The thickly sliced chorizo made its presence firmly known, contributing a wonderful spicy saltiness that was perfectly offset by the sweet red onion chutney. The creaminess of the Camembert was a soulmate to the beef patties, while the chilli cheese sauce reinforced the kick of the chorizo to complete an outstanding and decadently delicious bad boy of a burger.

And a bad boy he was dear readers, for finally I was brought to my knees and soundly defeated. I had dreamed a dream of finding a show-piece burger that would genuinely match excessive quantity with equal quality and, at The Kings, my quest was finally completed. After a valiant duel, the Fatboy beat me, forcing me to leave two or three bites. Massive in form – but much more crucially, massive in taste – this one was an absolute triumph.

As I watched my other half devour an exquisite looking brownie, I couldn’t contemplate letting another mouthful of anything pass my lips. She did however assure me that the well-presented marriage of peanut butter and chocolatey goodness was to die for. The lack of leftovers was literally proof in the pudding.

Peanut butter and chocolate brownie

Providing a dining experience delivered with charm, skill and a refreshing lack of pretentiousness, The Kings Arms ticked every box. Service was great, prices were reasonable and, above all, the food was fantastic. Such eateries were among those businesses hardest hit when the pandemic took hold, and it is wonderful to see pub-restaurants like The Kings coming back fighting – something I shall surely do when ready to take on the magnificent Continental Fatboy once again. A fully-deserved top marks awarded for a spot-on experience.

Details

The Kings Arms

17 Stafford Street, Eccleshall

Staffordshire

ST21 6BL

Tel: 01785 850 294

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News