The Cheeky Fox
57 Tattyreagh Road
028 8225 1913
FOR the third weekend in a row, a storm was battering the land. I don’t think they even bothered to name this one. Maybe it was just the fag end of Denis, although, if it was, it certainly had plenty of puff left.
Earlier in the week we’d booked a table for four at the Cheeky Fox, in Tattyreagh, just outside Omagh. Overcoming the temptation to ring and cancel, or send a dove to check if the waters in Tyrone had receded, we headed down the A5, with the car being banged and bashed about like it was doing seven rounds with Tyson Fury.
The Cheeky Fox has been on the to-do list for a while now. It’s part of the Halfway House pub, which has been a fixture in these parts for around a century. The restaurant itself only opened last July, and someone has clearly spent a lot of time, effort, and money on the place.
Whoever designed the Cheeky Fox obviously intended to create somewhere that feels special, and they’ve succeeded. It’s an expansive restaurant – albeit one with the odd little private nooks – with textured wallpapers, cushioned velvet chairs and benches, stylish crockery, and rich, soft materials in abundance. It has a touch of luxury about it, eschewing as it does the current trend for the plain and minimal.
The menu, however, doesn’t go down the same route. While certainly not basic, it doesn’t go in for too many bells and whistles and you get the sense the chef and owners know their audience – there’s plenty of meat, steak especially. That isn’t to say it lacks interest, and we were sorry to give the starters a miss, as the coconut, prawn and noodle broth, not to mention the pheasant with Jerusalem artichoke and pickled blackberries, sounded very tempting indeed.
We were, though, keen to make a start for home before the car floated away, and so only had time for two courses. Puddings always beat starters, like rock always beats scissors.
Our daughter’s soup came while we waited for the mains. It was good stuff – sharp, sweet, and sophisticated, a clever balance of flavours, although a child’s portion would be enough for anyone, I think, as the taste would prove too strong for a normal-sized serving.
While plenty of thought had clearly been given to the one fish dish and the single vegetarian option, we felt, like most of the diners around us, that this was the night for hearty plates of meat.
My brother’s chicken supreme was done very well. The meat was moist and tender, and the mushroom and Madeira cream sauce was full-bodied and powerful, although not so much so that the delicate flavour of the chicken was lost. My wife’s sirloin was nicely pink in the middle and tasted great, notwithstanding what I thought was a slight lack of seasoning. The caramelised shallot added a nice touch of both charred and sweet.
I couldn’t detect much in the way of pistachio and mint pesto with my lamb, and I felt the red wine jus was a touch sour, but the meat itself was perfect – so soft and easy and absolutely delicious. All the sides, with the possible exception of the vegetables, were knockout, especially the Dauphinoise potatoes – creamy, rich, soft, and fantastically moreish.
The puddings were pretty good, too. The posset, despite not being properly set, was lovely and sharp, and the white chocolate pudding was sweet and creamy, although the base was too soft. The sticky toffee pudding felt like a bit of a triumph – dark, rich, and decadent, and accompanied by a very good vanilla ice cream.
I’ve heard people from Tyrone complain there aren’t enough good places to eat in the county. There’s one more now, that’s for sure.
Child’s celeriac and apple soup £2.50
Lamb rump, Dauphinoise potatoes, pistachio, mint pesto, red wine jus £21
Pan-fried chicken supreme, mushroom and Madeira cream, mushroom crumble £15.95
Sirloin steak, Dauphinoise potatoes, caramelised shallot, red wine jus £21
Seasonal vegetables £3.50
Onion rings £3.50
Child’s ice cream £2.50
White chocolate tart, raspberries, raspberry coulis, ice cream £6.95
Warm sticky toffee pudding, salted caramel sauce, ice cream £6.95
Coconut and lime posset, toasted coconut and poppy seed sable £6.95
Diet Coke £2
Glass, rioja blanco £4.95
Source: Thanks http://www.irishnews.com/lifestyle/2020/02/29/news/eating-out-the-cheeky-fox-outside-omagh-has-a-touch-of-luxury-about-it-1853127/