First, lets get the canal bit out of the way. Wigan lies on The Leeds and Liverpool Canal, which runs right through the town centre, in close proximity to the infamous Wigan flight of 23 locks between Aspull and The Wigan Pier of George Orwell fame. All the locks in this area are locked and anti-vandal keys will be required, although assisted passage is possibly available by ringing British Waterways on 01942 242239 at their Wigan office. The town has undergone massive regeneration in recent years, and there are many places to see and visit within the town centre area. However, if you would like to be a little more adventurous for an evening out at a local restaurant that is a little further afield, and different to the norm, then you could do no better than try Summat to Ate at 48-50 Market Street Hindley, a small town just outside Wigan town centre. Having said Wigan has been regenerated, you do however, have to look upon Hindley town centre with a more "historical" perspective.
Having said that, the restaurant itself is immaculate, both outside and in, having been totally modernised prior to opening. The interior is particularly stunning......
I would suggest mooring at designated moorings around Aspull Top Lock, at the top of the flight, or for the more adventurous, another designated mooring area can be found just past bridge 51 at the bottom of the flight, and close to Wigan Pier, within the town centre itself. Either way, a short taxi drive will be required to get you from your mooring to Hindley. See Wigan taxi register for telephone numbers. This will be a distance of about 4 - 6 miles depending on your chosen mooring place.
We arrived at the restaurant deliberately early, as we hadn't made a reservation. As we arrived at around 6.35p.m. there was one other table occupied, which is exactly what we expected. However, as we went through the evening, a steady stream of customers entered, until by 7.30p.m. there was quite a good atmosphere, with plenty of tables now occupied. This was a Tuesday evening!
To the meal itself. The restaurant specialises in steak, finished to your own liking at your table, served on a hot rock platter which has been pre-heated to over 400 degreesC. We opted for the midweek special menu, which consists of two meals from the special menu and a half litre bottle of house wine all in at £15.95.
The steak option includes a 6oz. rump at this price, with a choice of 12oz at £3.95pp extra. A limited menu of starters are also available at £3.00 each, and if you wish, with sweets at £4.95 each except for ice cream or creme brulee which are £3.95 each. A choice of coffee is offered also as an extra.
We both opted for the soup, which today was broccoli and stilton. This was served piping hot with a warm wedge of wholemeal bread. We found it to be excellent, and to our taste without having to use additional seasoning. It was also well presented.......
For the main course we both chose the 6oz rump steak, which is served with fresh hand cut chips, (deep fried potatoes), a side salad, and mushrooms. The dish is served on a white porcelain platter containing the steak, which has been pre-sealed, presented on the hot volcanic rock. A side plate is provided, so that you can remove the meat to prevent it overcooking while you eat the meal. The waitress asked if we had experienced this before, and then provided us with instructions, to prevent the food from overcooking in front of us. Margaret chose a plain steak, I opted for one of the optional sauces, Cajun red wine sauce, at an additional charge of £1.50. Neither of us has had this experience before, but we can both recommend it, the food was absolutely excellent......
This is how the meal arrived at the table. Further cooking to your own liking then takes place on the hot rock.
After the main course, I opted for sticky toffee pudding, which was served with ice cream and toffee sauce, and garnished with sliced fresh strawberry. Margaret opted for a latte coffee, again both could not be faulted.
The wine that was served was half a litre of Merlot del Veneto, a quite ordinary Italian wine yet very palatable. There was also an option of a house white.
The total cost of our meals came to £30.05, which we both considered excellent value, both for the quality of food and the excellent and friendly service.
One point to note. There are wall clocks placed on just about every interior wall space. Each one permanently displaying the time of....7.53, or as a Wiganer would say: Summat to Ate!
We can recommend Summat to Ate steak restaurant to you, and we believe that it would be worth the effort finding transport from your overnight mooring to get here. Do make an advance booking though, we believe it may get busy as more people discover it.