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The Stolen Lamb's Bandit's Banquet

Confidential gets feasted by Chef George and his granddad in Wilmslow

Published on July 2nd 2014.


The Stolen Lamb's Bandit's Banquet
 

PROMOTION

EVERY NOW and then you’re served a meal that knocks you around like a Klitschko brother.

George cooks his lamb for six hours in a specially made ‘Forno’, a wood fired clay oven which does the same job as the pit. The result is lamb so juicy and succulent you’d punch your nan for another go – if you didn’t already have a gut like Obelix

As with the punches the courses come thick and fast, soon you’re up against the ropes with nowhere to escape the onslaught, the hefty, luscious onslaught. Groggily you slump in your chair, unsure exactly what round it is, how much of a drubbing you’ve taken, but on you go, determined to last the course.

Waking up with a belly pulverised and lying in a pool of Hercules Blood (an enjoyably mellow Greek red made with the Agiorghitiko grape) you realise you’ve been feasted into submission.

And what a glorious defeat it was.

Stolen LambStolen Lamb

Head Chef George HadjiyiannisHead Chef George HadjiyiannisTeam Confidential were treated recently to a take on the Bandit’s Banquet at Wilmslow’s authentic family-run Greek Cypriot restaurant, The Stolen Lamb, steered by the talented and surprisingly genial (for a chef) George Hadjiyiannis, who has cut his teeth in some serious operations including the Hilton and Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

 

The place whiffs of tradition and experience, manned by a good chunk of George’s clan (most also called George), we’re even treated to a special one-off cameo appearance on the knives by George’s granddad (George, naturally), the sage from whom many of the restaurant’s techniques and recipes have been passed down through the cubs and onto the plates.

We started with a brave and mysterious thing, a cucumber and feta cocktail with dodonis feta mousse, cucumber gazpzcho, ouso and olive, a refreshingly boggling opener. Soon after came a fantastic fishy dish called Poseidon’s Plate, a sharp and tasty cake of marinated tuna, shrimp, crab, watermelon and vanilla, which took podium for many of the company.

The brave and mysterious cucumber and feta cocktailThe brave and mysterious cucumber and feta cocktail

The hen's eggsThe hen's eggs

There was little in the way of a breather as out came the Bandit’s Breakfast, a crispy hen’s egg with gigante bean, wild mushroom and truffle, followed by the fourth blow, a sesame halloumi with caramalised onion and black bean houmous, then out flew the fifth dish, an Afonos – or 'speechless' – slivers of ox tongue buoyed by peanut pesto, anchovy and kefalotiri cheddar (main image).

By this point many were flagging, but the pinnacle of the feast was yet to come.

The Stolen Lamb’s signature dish – the one from which the restaurant and this feast takes its name - is the whole stolen lamb, and it’s a belter. According to George, Cypriot bandits of old would steal local lambs and carry them to the Troodos mountains to cook. Not wanting to reveal their location the tricky bandits would dig out an underground pit and cook the lamb with coals, the enclosed oven trapping in the juices, the flavour of the lamb - and any telltale smoke.

The whole (but not stolen) lambThe whole (but not stolen) lamb

Not having an underground pit George cooks his lamb for six hours in a specially made ‘Forno’, a wood fired clay oven which does very much the same job as the pit. The result is lamb so juicy and succulent you’d punch your nan for another go – if you didn’t already have a gut like Obelix.

After this came more helpings of lamb with ‘mum’s famous dolmades’ (please George we give up) and Paklava, a coconut and almond filo bake with honeycomb ice cream and poached pear.

By this point we were utterly clobbered. Winched from the restaurant's considerable and comfortable private dining room and down into a waiting dump truck, gorged and loaded.

A special mention should go out to front of houser Faye, just about the spunkiest we’d ever come across. If it wasn't for the threat of George chasing us the thirteen miles back to Manchester shaking a Greek sarissa, we’d have pinched Faye and taken her home with us.

Still, we're no bandits, even if we'd feasted like them. Bravo to George. All seventeen of them.

You can read Deanna Thomas's Stolen Lamb review here.

Bandit's Banquet

Perfect for birthdays, corporate entertaining or family celebrations, this is a whole Cheshire lamb carved at your table in a private dining room. Price is £30 per person for groups of 12 or more (minimum).

Opening hours

Monday: closed

Lunch: Friday and Saturday, 12pm to 3pm.

Sunday: 12pm to 5pm

Evening: Tuesday to Saturday, 6pm to 11pm. 

Contact

The Stolen Lamb, 70a Grove Street, Wilmslow, SK9 1DS.
E: info@stolenlamb.com
T: 01625 419 571
W: stolenlamb.com
@StolenLamb

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Georgina Hague shared this on Facebook on July 2nd 2014.
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Latest Rants

Raj Patel

Shhh. This is right next to my office. A gem of a place for a tasty (& healthy) lunch. Don't tell…

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Anonymous

I think that was meant as a suggestion rather than referring to this location.

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Calum McG

It's nowhere near Kro or the gardens... Check the address...

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Anonymous

Pita Pit and KRO next door, plus a view of the scrotes on the gardens? That's the perfect combo.

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