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Curry Club at the William Wilberforce on Trinity House Lane in Hull
William Wilberforce, Trinity House Lane, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1 2JD.
The William Wilberforce is named after the British anti-slavery campaigner from the 19th century whose house is nearby, and is located in Hull's Old Town. The pub is part of the J.D Wetherspoon's chain although under the Lloyds No. 1 brand. The available parking nearby is paid on street or in a multi-storey car park. The William Wilberforce was visited on a Thursday lunchtime and was busy when entered and throughout the entire visit, with almost every table at least partially occupied. As well as the tables downstairs, there is a balcony area upstairs with more seating and, when open, a second bar. A table was chosen in the downstairs part of the pub.
Throughout the week there are a number of different food clubs available. On Thursdays this is the Curry Club, which is available from noon until 11PM. As the William Wilberforce does not have table service, customers must first choose a table, make a note of the number, and then go to the bar to order and pay for any food or drinks. Supplemental items will require additional visits to the bar.
Bottled condiments were available in containers from a nearby table, and cutlery was brought, wrapped in a serviette, with the food.
The food ordered was from the Curry Club, which included a drink from a variety of hot and cold drinks, including soft drinks, wines, spirits and beer. The Curry Club costs £4.99 and, for an extra £1, it can be upgraded to large, which comes with a vegetable samosa and a large onion bhaji. This is good value, as they separately cost £1 each, but it was not upgraded. A draught Pepsi was ordered and, for an additional 20p, this was upgraded to a pint, which was good value for money. The Pepsi was as good as can be expected from a draught soft drink.
There are a number of either starters or sides available on the Curry Club menu, at quite reasonable prices, and the one ordered was Poppadums and Dips. This could be had as a starter, or could alternatively be brought over with the main course. This consisted of four poppadums with four dips in individual pots. The dips were mango chutney, lime pickle, yoghurt and mint dip, tomato, onion and coriander salad and lime pickle, and was served on a rectangular plate.
The poppadums were a bit on the oily side, and could have done with drying off a bit more, but were otherwise fine and not overcooked. There were plenty of dips, and these were quite tasty. The lime pickle was not the hottest, but was definitely not bland, and contained large pieces of lime rather than it being completely blended. Similarly, the mango chutney also was not totally blended. The salad contained coarsely chopped red onion, chillies, tomato and coriander.
The main course ordered was a new dish, Chicken Jalfrezi. The chicken jalfrezi was in a metal bowl and decorated with coriander leaves and had quite a bit of chicken, as well as chopped onions and red and green peppers, in plenty of sauce. It was accompanied by a triangular naan bread, a small paper container of mango chutney and another two poppadums. It is normally served with yellow basmati rice, but chips were substituted. This was all served on a plate which, for everything on it, was a bit on the small side.
Again, the poppadums were a bit too oily, but were otherwise fine. There was a decent amount of chicken, and the chips were okay, but just slightly overdone. Jalfrezis are classed as quite a hot dish, but this one wasn't that spicy, so it should appeal to more people.
With the Curry Club, any of the desserts on the main menu can be ordered for £2.20, regardless of their original price. The dessert ordered was American Style Pancakes with Vanilla Ice Cream and Maple Flavour Syrup. This could have been ordered with strawberry & blueberry compote instead. There were four, small, thick pancakes, resembling Scotch pancakes or drop scones, which were served warm, two scoops of ice cream and a jug of syrup.
This was quite a substantial and filling dessert, with the four pancakes and ice cream. The maple flavour syrup did at least taste of maple, but real maple syrup would probably be too much to expect at this price.
The total cost of the meal including the drink came to £9.38, which isn't bad for a three course meal. The starter took quite a while to be served, but the main course was ready in a couple of minutes. By the time the pub was left, the waiting time for main meals had increased to an estimated half an hour.
A problem with places lacking table service, especially when visiting alone, is having to leave the table to order more food or drinks. This was shown on this occasion when returning to the table after ordering the dessert there was another person sitting at the table, who did not move until they had finished their drink, which isn't really something that you want when eating out.
The quantities of food were decent, the quality is decent if not exceptional, and the price is reasonable. The Curry Club is good value for money, and there can be a significant saving when buying a dessert to go with the club meal. The William Wilberforce is recommended as an enjoyable place to eat, although it can be more convenient to visit with at least another person.
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