Doherty's Cafe Bistro, Wrexham Street, Mold. Tel: 01352 757585

Ambience 6/10

Service 9/10

Food quality 8/10

Children welcome - yes

Disabled access - yes

IF it is no-nonsense fare you are after on a rainy day then Doherty’s Cafe Bistro in Mold could just be the place to put a smile on your face.

Look beyond the decor of the Wrexham Street cafe diner – with the rose themed wallpaper it is all very 1970s chic – and focus on a menu even though it might send you travelling back in time to the days when gammon at a Berni Inn nudged chicken in the basket as the nation’s favourite meal out.

Imagine yourself transported back to an age of simplicity. There were few complaints back then after all. Eateries did what they said on the tin with wholesome, filling food, cooked from fresh and plenty of it. Doherty’s appear to have that down to a tee, which is why, perhaps, they were not short of customers when I popped in for lunch.

Breakfasts are big here – the ‘Ultimate’ looks like it will leave your plate heaving complete with two rashers of bacon, a sausage, egg, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, a hash brown, back pudding, fried bread and two pieces of toast – and all for £6.50. It is so big that, as the menu states clearly, this platter is not for serving after 11.30am.

And rightly so, because then it is lunchtime at Doherty’s. The invitation to feast on cod and chips, steak and ale pie, ham, egg and chips and grilled gammon left me drooling. Yet, as I looked for something a tad lighter on my stomach, my eyes settled on the beef curry offer on the special board.

Chosen with a jacket potato accompaniment, rather than chips, it proved an inspired choice.

There was a slight wait to be had, but as Doherty’s are keen to impress their food is freshly cooked to order, so patience is a virtue during busy periods. But there is no need to twiddle your thumbs as there is an ample stock of same-day newspapers offered on a table stocked with local entertainment literature as well.

The curry was well worth the wait, arriving with two big helpings of side salad and coleslaw, delivered by the chef himself.

It was searingly hot, not the spice but the meal, so swiftly had it been drawn from the kitchen pot. Nevertheless, this did not compromise the taste, which was excellent and very British. Big chunky pieces of beef and a sauce that swamped the jacket in a rectangular bowl.

I certainly needed the salad and coleslaw to cool things down, yet I wolfed it all down rather quickly as it proved an uplifting experience on such a dank and dismal afternoon.

It came with a steaming mug of tea – the bag may have been left in, but that just added to the authenticity of the place. Doherty’s is a bit old school greasy spoon, but with more than a touch of customer care.

As I left the chef asked if the curry had been too strong for my tongue as it had proved for an earlier customer.

Here there are also paninis galore, bacon and sausage sandwiches and toast aplenty with beans, scrambled eggs, poached eggs and tomatoes, virtually everything on top. Meanwhile, the egg and smoked salmon breakfast bagel has a classy ring to it.

But if it is a straightforward bit of British cuisine you are after then Doherty’s is well worth a visit. And don’t forget, Thursdays is Pensioners’ Day with 10 per cent discounts on the table between 1 and 3pm!

The bill

Beef curry and jacket potato/ mug of tea - £8.30