Restaurant Review: Pint Shop
The website says “Meat, Bread, Beer” – but Pint Shop, inspired by the beer houses of old, is a lot more than that. This place has carefully crafted a modern twist on a traditional pub, with a focus on craft beers, a magnificent choice of gins and amazing food cooked on coals. Get ready to indulge!
This gem is located in the centre of Cambridge amid various chain pubs, but don’t be fooled – it’s a cut above all of them. The venue is deceptively large. At the front is the busy and atmospheric bar area, while the dining rooms are nicely separated at the back, providing a more peaceful and relaxed experience for those who’ve come to eat.
We couldn’t resist starting off our meal with some delicious Moons Green Kentish beer sticks while we studied the menu. Pint Shop offers mostly British fare with a focus on seasonal ingredients and flavours. There was a large and tempting selection for any meat lover, such as the rib-eye with whisky and raisin butter and the pork T-bone served beside slow-cooked broccoli. It has to be highlighted that the vegetarian options like coal-roast beets with whipped goats cheese and orange salad looked equally delightful.
To start we eventually decided on the roasted pear with walnuts and goat’s cheese and the beer-flavoured ham with lentils. I was delighted to see that the Pint Shop name shines through in the menu, with beer being used to flavour a few of the dishes.
For the main course I chose the slow-cooked lamb neck with baker’s potatoes, lovage and lemon, and my date had the sea bream with braised white beans and romesco sauce. Having not tried lamb neck before, I will now be hunting it out in future, hoping it delivers the same incredible baked and braised flavourings as the Pint Shop version.
To finish, the chocolate and salted caramel pudding was a must, while my date went for the homemade rhubarb ice cream. Both were amazing.
Of course, the food isn’t the only attraction here – with a clue in the name, Pint Shop has around 15 cask and keg beers from small British brewers. It also offers a wide array of gins – well over 50, so there’s definitely something you’ll love. We both enjoyed the sloe gin with lemonade, perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.
I need to give a special mention to the wonderful staff; they are not only friendly and welcoming but also have extensive knowledge of the whole food and drink menu and are happy to provide recommendations if you find the range of gin or beer slightly overwhelming.
This is a perfect place to take a date, be it the first or the twenty-first. It’s a nice, quiet location where you can talk while enjoying first-class food at very reasonable prices. If you’re a Cambridge local, book now; if not, be sure to start planning a perfect summer day trip of punting on the river and a visit to Pint Shop.