Wigan pub’s ‘bushtucker’ Valentine’s menu

A Wigan pub will be hoping punters will not be shouting ‘get me out of here!’ after unveiling a quirky I’m A Celeb... inspired Valentine’s menu.


The Royal Oak is ditching steaks and slushy music on lovebirds’ favourite evening of the year in favour of an exotic four-course dinner featuring snails, frogs’ legs and crocodile sliders.

Head chef Mike Robinson and pub manager Andrea OToole with an unusual Valentines Day menu, exotic items such as frogs legs and crocodile sliders

Head chef Mike Robinson and pub manager Andrea OToole with an unusual Valentines Day menu, exotic items such as frogs legs and crocodile sliders

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Head chef Mike Robinson admits to being inspired by the bushtucker trials celebrities on the hit ITV show have to undergo but says he is steering clear of some of the more stomach-churning ingredients seen on the programme.

The team at the popular Standishgate pub will also transport diners off to the jungle with a green colour scheme and plenty of foliage and inflatable creatures in the venue, while Joe Astley will provide live music.

Mike said: “For Valentine’s Day everywhere tends to be pretty much the same with fillet steaks and meals like that. Rather than try to compete against other pubs I thought we should do something different.

“The idea came from I’m A Celeb... and the bushtucker trials. This is our version, although I didn’t want to give people crickets or worms.

“Dishes like snails and frogs’ legs are known around the world but a lot of people in Wigan haven’t tried them.

“People have said it has the ‘ooh’ factor. It’s the sort of thing I can imagine people bringing their other half to for a dare. I can imagine the look on the face of a wife whose husband has brought her for a meal and it’s crocodile.

“We’re doing it in a light-hearted way. We’re going to decorate the pub with classic Valentine’s stuff like roses, hearts and flowers but there’s also going to be long green grass everywhere and a blow-up crocodile watching you eat.

“In this day and age everyone lives on social media and this is something that will be great for putting photos online and getting reaction.”

Mike will be putting his classic training as a chef to use to ensure there is plenty of finesse in the dishes alongside the novelty value of the meats.

He was formerly head chef at award-winning Liverpool restaurant The Side Door and has worked in both fine dining and pub grub across the North West.

An online company will be providing the crocodile as it has been helping to fuel the growing interest in exotic meats, which also includes the likes of kangaroo and bison cropping up at events.

The meal is £12.95. Book by ringing 01942 820563.