The New Inn in central Newport only opened it’s doors a matter of weeks ago, but when visiting for the first time tonight I would never have guessed it; everything was running like clockwork, the staff were confident, friendly and attentive and the rustic interior had a warmth and charm that made me feel like it had been there for years.
You cant help but be impressed by the decor when you walk through the doors of this brand new pub, the large dining area has lovely high ceilings featuring colourful stained glass windows, the walls are full of eclectic prints and retro signage and there is even a vintage cast iron safe to rest your pint on!
There is ample space for diners and also a separate bar area catering for customers simply wanting to sample something from the wide selection of Joules cask ales, wines, spirits or soft drinks available. There is also a large sunny beer garden and car park to the rear.
The New Inn’s newly appointed head chef Carl Stephenson comes with a great reputation, having previously cooked at The Huntsman and Norwood House. His menu features quality pub classics with a gastro edge, there is also a children’s menu, a popular Sunday lunch menu (booking advisable) and a fish menu on Fridays.
We were shown to a lovely window table where we ordered some drinks and perused the menu. For starters I went for the Thai Crab cake (£6.25) and my sister Fran opted for the Pesto Mushroom with Mozzarella (£4.95). Despite the pub being fairly busy and attracting plenty of walk in trade throughout the evening, our food was served quickly and the presentation of the dishes was excellent.
My crab cake was golden brown and crisp on the outside, inside was a fluffy and delicate crab and potato filling, it was served on a bed of fresh watercress salad drizzled with sweet chilli sauce. I really enjoyed this dish, it was the perfect portion size to whet the appetite and the combination of fresh Thai inspired flavours worked really well.
Frans mushroom was tender and perfectly cooked with a hint of pesto coming through, it was topped with a layer of melting mozzarella and came served with a fresh dressed side salad. She commented that the dish was light and tasty and again the portion size was ideal for a starter.
For the main event I couldn’t resist the Joules Beer battered Cod (£9.50) and Fran went for the homemade steak and Ale pie (£9.95). The impressive cod fillet came served with garden peas, tartare sauce and a generous portion of hand-cut chips, which were quite frankly some of the best chips I have ever tasted! The cod was beautifully moist and flaky with a hint of Joules ale coming through in the deliciously light and crispy batter.
Frans meal was also a generous size, which was handy as she is currently eating for two! The homemade pie was encased in a lovely buttery pastry and the filling was rich with gravy and plenty of tender chunks of steak. It was served with fresh seasonal veg and some more of those incredible hand-cut chips.
After enjoying such a satisfying starter and main course I was momentarily in two minds as to whether I had any room left for a dessert, however in the interest of providing you with a full and honest review I bravely soldiered on and ordered myself the chocolate bread and butter pudding, whilst Fran plumped for the berry Eton mess.
The Eton mess was an indulgent bowl full of meringue pieces and whipped cream swirled with a sweet berry coulis topped with fresh ripe berries, it looked lovely and Fran said it was the perfect summer dessert.
My chocolate bread and putter pudding was quite simply one of the most incredible desserts I have ever eaten, it was nothing like the old fashioned stodgy school dinner style bread and butter pudding you might have conjured in your mind, it was warm and soft and chocolatey and gooey and, well, just delicious! So much so that I am already planning on taking my family back to the New Inn next week just so that I can enjoy it again!
The New Inn might be the new pub on the block in Newport but owner Darren Wood and his team are already putting on an impressive show, this venue really ticks all of the boxes… it has oodles of character thanks to the quirky rustic interior, the food is delicious, the beer is good and the atmosphere is friendly and inviting, but don’t just take my word for it, go and see for yourself!
Reviewed by Charlie Scott and Fran Davies