Locks is in a 2 story historic building across from a canal, where swans and ducks swim. The medium sized place has sofa like seating on the sides of the room that are not the 2 filled with windows to the street. Upstairs in this 100+ year old house is a room available for private parties. An old wood floor, 60’s rock music in the background and lots of art (some for sale) make up the cozy ambiance of the place. Bare wood tables are small and fairly close which at lunch posed no problem. Being near Christmas they offered a 3 course lunch with some optional supplements and side dishes. I believe they have the same menu at dinner. This is traditional hearty food with some interesting combinations of ingredients. I wouldn’t come close to calling the food subtle as it’s on the heavy side. Not a bad thing but good to know going into it.
Everyone starts with some brown sourdough bread and seaweed butter. The butter has recognizable chunks of smoked trout in it and is quite distinctive tasting.
We started with the Crispy Pig’s Head with Bradley apple, Treviso, and Homemade Black Pudding. The pig’s head was in a crispy roll made from the ears and cheeks of the pig topped with some mustard seeds and raisins. A raisin mustard is the round puddle of brown sauce on the plate. Little cubes of apple and some pieces of treviso add textures and different flavors to the plate. All components were good alone or in combination with one another.
For a main plate we ordered a supplement item, Himalayan Salt Aged Rib of Beef for 2 people, Braised Short Rib, Crisp Ox Tail, Duck Fat Chips and a side of Organic Leaves. We added a side of Sprout Tops with Chestnuts and Gubbeen Bacon. The beef was cooked nicely rare and sliced, the oxtail was mixed with shallot in the form of a fritter and the well braised short rib was topped with onion and covered with a chestnut sauce. The sprout tops had been pan fried to brown them on one side and mixed with a very flavorful bacon and chestnut pieces. The side salad was nicely dressed and the leaves tender and fresh. The ribeye meat was plated with Béarnaise sauce, which was strongly flavored whereas the beef was not. The fries were like they had been coated -crisp outside and soft inside.
For dessert I had the Steamed Medjool Date Pudding which was served alongside Clementine ice cream. The ice cream was a tad tart and definitely citrus but nicely creamy. The cake was moist and they kindly left the extra sauce if we wanted it and that was a yes on my part. It was sticky, sweet and went wonderfully with the dense moist cake but I didn’t think it blended well with the ice cream.