Desi Pubs – Red Lion Sandwell

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Location:

Situated 7 minutes drive from the M5 junction 1, or 9 minutes if leaving the M6 at Junction 7. The Red Lion is almost opposite Sandwell Hospital, so follow the signs for the hospital if need be.

The nearest football grounds are again West Bromich Albion and Walsall FC and Villa Park

Appearance & Entry:

A large LED sign is visible from the roadside, the car park surrounds the building so that is not an issue, and two large lions welcome you into the building.

The Red Lion has recently undergone a refurb, the seats in all the rooms and tables now work better as does the new “Brick” look.

*NOTE* if you are a smoker, the smoking area is at the rear of the building, a sheltered area is also available in case of rain.

Drinks:

The new bar set up allows for more spirits than previous, which is an improvement as the bar always had more of a selection than dining area. The draught beers are always clean and pints are always very good. Price wise you are looking £3- 4.50 for draughts and spirit doubles start from £4.

Food:

The Red Lion over the last few years has managed to appeal to all sectors of the community and is now one of the go to places in the area, one of the reasons for this is how well its maintained hygiene  wise, always clean and attention to detail is very good..

We order our drinks from the main dining room, the rooms are plentiful. The dining room is very busy, and we did have a wait for our drinks as it seems people like sitting at the bar, which causes crowding , making the wait longer.

We manage to find a table where we can sit, we see people sitting at tables who have just come for a drink, this is annoying as we are there to eat and have to wait for a table. We grab a menu and it is huge, almost like that in an Indian restaurant, it offers everything curry wise, maybe too much.

We go to the ordering point and order a large mixed grill, masala fries and 2 curries, the refurb, though looking good is something that I think we are paying for as the prices have all gone up, the mixed grill by £2.

Once the order is placed, we ask how long we will have to wait, we are informed we are looking at 30-45 minutes for food, as they are busy, similar waiting time as the Bradford Arms in our last review, this is way too long.

You pay at the ordering point and we are given a number which will identify us when our food is ready.

42 minutes later our food arrives. The service is the best so far as plates, cutlery, and sauces are all delivered to the table (save us lazy gits having to move).

Mixed Grill: Sizzling, yes, fried onions way too oily, that is visible straight away. The mixed grill since the referb looks different, it is not as colourful or plenty full as previous.

Chicken Tikka: Good Size chicken chunks, they are plentiful, but not as tasty as I imagined, quantity over quality here, very different to before.

Lamb Shish Kebab: Very tasty, and lots of it, happy with this, it is cooked well and very juicy.

Wings: Spicy yes, but not as spicy as expected, the taste of the chicken is not really setting my taste buds alight.

Lamb Chop: This is well cooked, it’s a good size, and it really is the best part of the whole mixed grill.

Now to check out the Curries:

Chicken Tikka Masala: This is creamy, the tikka chunks seem to have more flavour to the, and it truly is a great dish.

Lamb Curry: This is spicy, just as I like it. The lamb seems to have been marinated well as it is very juicy, the ratio of sauce to meat is again very good.

Masala Fries are spicy, bare that in mind when ordering, tasty.

 

Conclusion:

The Red Lion has a great reputation amongst all members of the community and it is really a great mixture of people when you go, the atmosphere is better for this, having the actual bar away from the dining area works well too.

The staff has been friendly and attentive, dishes are collected promptly and tables are kept clean, the drinks at the bar of a high standard, great pints.

The wait though, it’s  a long time to wait for food, and I have found on previous visit’s that whether it busy or quite the wait never differs, this needs to be amended.

The curries are fantastic and cannot be faulted in the slightest as they were everything we expected and more. The mixed grill, just is not the same as it was for some reason, whether the chef has changed I don’t know, it’s good, but nothing more than good at present, where as it was very very good.

For the above reasons we score the Red Lion a 7.3/10

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