Dibleys is in the Compton Acres Shopping Centre precinct in West Bridgford. I popped over one lunchtime and it was quite busy, I had been warned before I went that I might need to book, and I had paid no attention to that, judging by the number of tables with reserved signs on them, and an already fullish dining area perhaps it might be worth thinking about phoning ahead. Anyhow I did in the end have plenty of table options and I eased myself into a small two seater and perused the menu offerings
There was a pretty eclectic specials board, which was written on a white board in felt-tip style as opposed to your bistro style chalk black board. what was available I hear someone ask (or is that the imaginary TV commentator voice over in my head that talks as I type?). There was a “Steamed Salmon with red pesto”, A “Scotsman’s Pie” comprising ‘lamb, haggis, neeps and tatties‘ (that sounded really good), and a “Quiche with Lancashire cheese, mushroom and leek”. All those three were priced at £7.25. Then there was a selection of more meatier dishes that were a pound more, those included “Roast Pork, Stuffing and Apple sauce”, A “Barnsley Chop”, and “Belly Pork”
Their menu notes that “menus are changed frequently….but the basic style and prices will remain”. That certainly appeared to be the case when I visited as the two dishes that I was torn between choosing were not listed on the paper menu that I took away after for reference. Those plates that caught my eye were the “Smoked Trout and Warm Potato Salad” for £7.75, and the dish which I chose the “Welsh Rarebit” for £7.50 or as described on the menu “Y Fenni ale & whole grain mustard Welsh Rarebit -2 slices of bloomer toast, grilled with topping & bacon, salad garnish”. Even before I arrived I had a good feeling that it was going to be a winning dish as I heard a couple of nearby tables order exactly the same thing.
A lot of my non foodie friends just mock me when I say I cherish the joy of eating Welsh Rarebit, they try to tell me that it is just posh cheese on toast, I just shake my head and return to my moment of recipe hero worship. The Rarebit was made of Y Fenni cheese which is a Welsh variety consisting of Cheddar cheese blended with mustard seed and ale. The name comes from the Welsh name for Abergavenny. When I ordered it I had originally thought that they had mixed whole grain mustard and grated cheese together to make the topping. It was only when I did a little online research that I discovered that the cheese was made up of those ingredients. The best description I found was from the “International Cheese” website who describe it thus “Y Fenni cheese is a thing of wonder; moist and tangy with a nice bite of mustard seeds followed by a warm glow of real ale. The flavour is neither overpowering or underwhelming, but just right. Especially with a pint of beer on the side.” I kind of like that!
A close up of the Rarebit section of the dish just highlights how much cheese and bacon there was on each slice. It is not a great picture but it certainly tells you the story and I hope gives you a fair idea of how good this tasted. The slices were so large and had been cut into slices, so it felt as though I had four slices. It was looking like quite a substantial plateful and not really a light lunchtime snack.
Apart from the rarebit on the plate, there was also a pretty decent selection of salad. I had almost the full tricolor of peppers with slices of red, yellow and green, there was red onion, cucumber, tomato, plus plenty of herb leafs. Added to that I had a couple of small pots of extra bits on there, one of coleslaw, and one of some sort of red slaw made up (I think) of apple and beet root. I did at least feel that I was eating a marginally healthy lunchtime snack (if I can forget that pile of toasted cheese).
I quite liked the food offerings at Dibleys, there was enough variation on the board to suggest that it might be worth a return visit. It does feel a little bit old fashioned, but in a good way, I think that is what the diners want from their Dibleys.
It certainly seemed to bit a bit of a meeting place for the local community so they must be doing plenty of things right here. In fact in there own words they say “We aim to create a fun place in the community where people can eat good food in friendly and pleasant surroundings.” and they even have their own “Friends of Dibleys” group.