The Wellingborough Road is littered with restaurants offering cuisine from across the world, however, it’s harder to find somewhere specialising in dishes from closer to home.
Thankfully, this is where Brabenec’s excels.
The family-run restaurant has been serving up a host of traditional English dishes for years and while it doesn’t have the most alluring frontage, this shouldn’t put you off a visit.
I decided to head there with my mum who was visiting on a hot summer’s evening.
When we arrived we were greeted by a waiter and shown to our table.
We ordered some drinks which promptly arrived with some freshly baked warm brown bread and a pot of butter which we tucked into while browsing the menu.
To drink, I ordered a glass of Coke, my mum opted for a lager and lime.
Brabenec’s boasts an extensive menu of both starters and mains, as well as a two-course or three-course set menu.
I ordered asparagus wrapped in smoked bacon with a blue cheese dip to start (£5.95) while my mum opted for crab, mango and chilli salad with Romaine lettuce and a light chilli dressing (£5.95).
Both arrived promptly and were delicious. The asparagus was cooked perfectly, each stick about three-quarters wrapped in bacon.
The accompanying cheese dip was served in a small pot and there was enough to ensure each piece of asparagus could be generously swabbed.
The other starter contained a generous serving of crab and large cubes of mango served on top of the lettuce.
The sweetness of the mango was perfectly complemented by a subtle after-taste of the mild chilli.
Our plates were quickly cleared and the table set for our mains.
As we waited, we discussed the interior of Brabenec’s, which is firmly in the ‘traditional family restaurant’ camp.
I had ordered beef Wellington (£19.95) while my mum opted for slow roasted belly of pork (£14.50) and after a short wait, both arrived.
The beef fillet was cooked medium rare with a wild mushroom duxelle and surround with puff pasty and caramelised shallots. The pork was served with a pot of apple sauce.
Immediately, we were struck by the size of both portions – and that was before accompanying side dishes of vegetables and potatoes arrived.
The Wellington was delicious, although in places the crispness of its pastry had softened and the meat was closer to rare in places.
The pork was topped with a firm and crispy crackling.
It was difficult to fault both mains courses, other than when set against a muggy evening there was just too much food.
The service from both staff was fine, and overhearing conversations around the restaurant, it’s clear Brabenec’s has some very loyal customers who frequently return.
We persevered with our mains although didn’t have room for a dessert or coffee.
We left impressed by the food at Brabenec’s but feeling with a more modern interior and exterior it may succeed in attracting a wider demographic of diner. I’ll certainly return, but potentially on a cold winter evening rather than a hot summer night.
Northampton, NN1 4LA
VALUE: Medium to expensive
DISABLED ACCESS: Yes
PARKING: On street
COST OF OUR MEAL
FINAL TOTAL: £48.55
David’s star rating: 7/10