Bostin Fittle, Dudley

What's in a name? asks Andrew Turton after dining at a less than authentic Black Country boozer.

Bostin Fittle, Dudley
Bostin Fittle, Dudley

What's in a name? asks Andrew Turton after dining at a less than authentic Black Country boozer.

Bostin Fittle - the name conjures up days of the Black Country with smoke bellowing from factory chimneys and families gathering together at meal time to talk about their day.

But the name is just about the only thing authentic Black Country at the Dudley watering hole where I chose to dine.

Bostin Fittle sits in the shadow of Dudley Castle and Zoo and across the road from the Black Country Living Museum.

Yet its location is more reflective of the modern face of Dudley, within the Castlegate development on the edge of the town.

Flanked by a multi-screen cinema, hotel, huge offices and chain restaurants, you'd be forgiven for thinking The Bostin Fittle, would be a little bit out of place.

Instead, the slightly characterless pub was pleasant enough with its bright neon-style blue and green lights shining away outside - hardly the traditional boozer I'd been expecting though.

Putting aside the disappointment of not being transported back to a bygone Black Country age, the pub does boast a good size outdoor seating area.

Bostin Fittle, meaning good condition in Black Country tones, comes with a large children's indoor play centre complete with ball pit and climbing frames. Being a little too tall and old to fully enjoy those facilities, I decided a pint and food were a better choice for me.

On entering, you're greeted with a huge, open plan-style bar area with a seemingly endless assortment of tables at which to eat.

The decor is really smart with stylish wallpaper and artwork which actually compliments rather than clutters.

It is surprising that the real ale renaissance doesn't appear to have hit Bostin Fittle and instead the usual range of lagers, bottled ciders and bitters are all that is on offer.

So settling down with my £2.85 pint, I was still hoping that the food menu would at least have a few Black Country favourites on there.

But it didn't. The menu is still full to the brim with a staggering array of dishes,  from burgers, seafood, and curries to steaks and salads, there is enough to satisfy most pallets.

Even faggots make a welcome, if slightly random, appearance among the gastronomic delights on offer, raising a wry Black Country grin.

It was ironic that warm friendly greeting usually associated with this neck of the woods wasn't really on show as I ordered the food. Trying to get even more than a grunt or one word answer from the barman proved too steep a challenge for me.

Breaded mushrooms with salad and dip, priced £3.35, proved a good starter, with my companion plucking for nachos with melted cheese and sour cream and salsa dip, from the menu (£3.55). Very Black Country.

Having greedily eaten our starters within minutes, it was a bit of letdown to find we had to wait about another about 20 minutes for our table to be cleared only for the waitress to then forget to bring us any cutlery for our main meal. I had to fetch some myself.

I choose an exotic Jungle Curry (£8.25) for my main meal. It consisted of tender pieces of chicken breast in a spicy Thai coconut cream sauce with lemon juice lemon grass and lime leaf served with rice and spicy prawn crackers.

It was nicely served in a bowl with salad and rice. Spicy, tangy and delicious. Again, so very Black Country.

My companion picked a chicken penne (£7.95) which was chargrilled chicken penne pasta in a lightly spiced tomato and mascarpone sauce served with garlic herb and salad.

She said the meal was filling with a nice mix of flavours. Our meal came to just over £27 in total, with drinks.

Overall Bostin Fittle is a pleasant place to eat, if a little pricey.

The pub just sadly misses a trick by not showing the true warmth and character of the area.

If you want real Black Country welcome, I'd recommend paying for entry to the Black Country Living Museum over the road where you can sink a few pints of Midland-brewed Banks's at the Bottle & Glass Inn.

ADDRESS

Bostin Fittle, Castlegate Way, Tipton Road, Dudley, DY1 4TA

Telephone: 01384 240856.

Opening Hours: Monday- Saturday 11am- 11pm. Sunday 12noon-10.30pm

VERDICT:

Bostin Fittle provides an enjoyable dining experience. What the pub lacks in Black Country charm, it makes up for with quality food and a packed menu to choose from. Those expecting a true traditional night out will be disappointed but the pub's stylish appearance will keep plenty coming back for more.

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