Jay Rayner gives rave review of Plungington town restaurant and bar

Jay described dry refried green beans with ground pork as a hilarious turbo charge for a dish already boosted in flavor Pic: @jayrayner1

A well-known food critic for The Guardian and The Observer experienced Preston’s bustling food and drink scene and left town to write a rave review for the world to read.


Before making his trip, Jay Rayner did an online hunt to find a restaurant that wasn’t yet another popular restaurant chain.

During the arduous quest for a hearty lunch, he came across a local Chinese restaurant – Roasta Preston, or as he called it the ‘column-marked cafe’ located in Plungington Road.

The reviewer was skeptical at first, with the restaurant’s highly outstanding Google reviews approaching the average five-star rating, but found “warm unanimity” among the jumble of praise.

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A close up of roast duck and pork belly
A close up of the ‘simply beautiful’ roast duck and pork belly Pic: @jayrayner1

The taste of authentic Hong Kong cuisine was brought to Jay at a 20-seat dining venue just outside the city center.

The critic was wooed with an array of options to choose fromthe specialty of the menu being its Cantonese meat dishes.

Jay tried a bit of everything from ‘fresh squeaky’ prawns to ‘hilarious’ ‘turbo-charged’ dry refried green beans with ground pork to a huge platter of glistening duck wings, duck necks and duck gizzards that give a ‘crunch under the teeth’.

To continue eating, Jay gulped down some jasmine tea and completed his monumental journey to Roasta.

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In the evening, Jay got a feel for Spanish cuisine and prepared to be wowed by another restaurant in Preston. This time a tapas bar-restaurant called Bar Pintxos, located in the market square.

The foodie managed to get in just before the kitchen closed for a few plates of “pleasant tapas” that weren’t too heavy on the stomach.

For the finale, a slice of Basque cheesecake and a glass of “nostalgically Christmas-smelling” Pedro Ximénez sherry arrived to end the trip with a sweet high.

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Pintxos paella bar
Chicken and rabbit paella at Bar Pintxos

Jay described the place as ‘kindly accommodating’ and in the review’s final notes said, ‘It was a great end to a great day.’

In a heartfelt Facebook post, Bar Pintxos owner Anthony Smith said: “I was a little nervous when legend Jay Rayner came in and sat down to eat at our house on a quiet, leafy Tuesday evening.

“He was in Preston trying out this wonderful place in Plungington when he clicked on our location. Nervous wasn’t the word, but I’m so glad he had fun.

To read Jay Rayner’s review, visit Guardian website.

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Have you ever been to Roasta Preston or Bar Pintxos? Will you go there after reading the review? Let us know in the comments below.

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