The poacher’s pocket
81 Killinchy Rd, Lisbon
Tel: 028 9754 1589
Originally established in the 1800s as a former coaching inn, Poacher’s Pocket has clearly retained much of that old country charm, both in its interior and in its menu.
Tucked away on the main road in the village of Lisbane, a short distance from Comber and the shores of Strangford Lough, the gastropub offers a warm welcome to all with its worn stone floor, panelling, exposed brickwork and log burner . stove in the center of the restaurant.
The staff were immediately accommodating and seated us almost as soon as we walked through the door, offering drinks, menus and inquiring about our dietary needs.
The menu offered a variety of meal choices: pies, burgers and fish curries, pizzas and a full vegetarian selection, but not so much that it seemed overwhelming; the options were concise.
We decided to ditch the two- and three-course set menu option for lunch – advertised as an early bird autumn menu – and tried a variety of dishes, starting with the liver pâté from chicken, with toasted sourdough and golden raisin relish.
The pate was firm, not too creamy, and there was just enough of everything but not too much to overpower the mains.
My guest opted for an all gastropub favorite – the steak sandwich.
Served on grilled focaccia, with sweet onion jam, breaded onion rings and beer fat crisps, the classic dish was rich and flavorful, and the steak was cooked to perfection.
For my main course I decided to try one of the vegetarian options, of which there was plenty to choose from.
The wild mushroom tagliatelle caught my eye right from the start, and since mushrooms are in season around this time in autumn, I thought why not try the best local cuisine.
I had my doubts about the oregano and thyme sauce, if it was too strong or not, so I asked the waiter if I could have a little less.
To my surprise he returned with a small dish of ramekin sauce to try – a very thoughtful and personal touch despite a busy lunch service.
I also asked for a side of garlic bread but as the wood oven hadn’t been turned on yet they compromised and brought me a side of sourdough bread with garlic butter, another very nice touch adding to the already attentive service we experienced.
A slight complaint about the area was that there may have been too much food.
Nothing to note, but it just meant I had leftovers to take home and wanted to leave room for dessert.
To end on something sweet, I ordered the hot chocolate brownie which came out swimming in hot chocolate sauce and a scoop of salted caramel ice cream.
Accompanied by a decaffeinated Americano, it was the perfect way to end a delicious winter meal.
Pie 8 €
Steak sandwich €18.50
Tagliatelle with mushrooms 15€
Chocolate brownie €6.50
Decaffeinated Americano £3