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Posts Tagged ‘steak’

The Three Horseshoes

Horseshoe Road
Bennett End, Nr Radnage
High Wycombe
HP14 4EB
T: 01494 483273
Map

We arrived in the dark on Friday evening and were shown to a quaint little room overlooking a small pond. After freshening up quickly, we went back to the main building for dinner. The restaurant was busy but not full and we were given a choice of tables. The fresh bread rolls were warm and came with butter that was soft enough to spread (which is always nice!). The menu had five or six starters and main courses with plenty of choice for all tastes. To start we had pan-fried scallops with crispy pork belly (two of my favourite things!) and the duck breast with parma ham and a poached egg. For the main course we chose the fish plate, which was enormous (Gravalax, Smoked Salmon, White Crab Meat Salad, Smoked Trout and Tempura Prawns!), and the 28 Day Aged Sirloin Steak, which was flavoursome and came with chunky chips and peppercorn sauce. To finish off the evening, we shared a cheeseboard that wasn’t particularly exciting and two very small glasses of Sauternes.

In the morning, despite the rain, we were able to appreciate the lovely view over the Chilterns, but overall we felt the experience could have been better. We got the impression that the management are resting on their laurels and coasting on previous accolades. The room we stayed in, the breakfast dishes and the restaurant floor all could have been cleaner (I don’t expect to see leftover chips at breakfast) and the dining tables less wobbly. With a little attention to detail and a renewed passion, I think The Three Horseshoes could be much better.

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Powder Keg Diplomacy

147 St. John’s Hill
Battersea, London
SW11D 1TQ
T: 020 7450 6457
Map

In stark contrast to its early days, it is now relatively easy to get a table at this quirky Battersea bar/restaurant. We sat in the garden room, a dark but somehow cosy place populated by ferns, empty picture frames and upside-down house plants, with ivy-covered pillars supporting a glass roof. The setting was only a little surreal until our waiter arrived sporting a top hat and braces.

One of the other unusual features of this restaurant is the drinks menu which features an enormous selection of bottled beers, and 6 micro-brews on draught: 3 lagers, a pale ale, a stout and a cider. There are also cask beers which change regularly. I agonised for a while and picked the one draught beer that was off. Happily, the suggested replacement (the Jokers IPA) was a delight, with a light caramel flavour but still very refreshing. My partner selected a Merlot from the 6 reds available by the glass.

The a la carte menu is straightforward: optional oysters or bread followed by a choice of 6 starters and 6 mains. To start, we chose the spicy beef carpaccio with rocket and fennel, which was light and very tasty, and the curried parsnip soup which was thick, mild and smooth, served with a warm roll.

To follow, I had the Blythburgh pork belly which was excellent – equal parts moist meat and crispy crackling with no sign of the large blocks of fat that you often find in this dish. And it came with an embarrassingly large selection of vegetables: parsnips, carrots, kale, roast potatoes and a celeriac and apple purée, all sat in a very tasty gravy.

My partner had a medium ribeye steak which was cooked as requested as well as being half the size of a dinner plate. Accompaniments were more Spartan here (chips and rocket) but these were no ordinary chips. No, these were nearly half-potatoes, still in their jackets and large enough to be piping hot even as the last of them sat uneaten at the end of our meal because we were both absolutely stuffed.

We called time after the main course as we could not have managed a dessert and found the bill very manageable indeed – only £64 for two including 12.5% service and less than an hour on the clock. So, it’s difficult to find fault with the Powder Keg. Maybe the main courses are a bit big… probably it’s too dark to see how much you’ve salted your potatoes… definitely you would be hard-pressed to find a meal of similar quality at this price anywhere else in this neighbourhood.

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The Crown

223 Grove Road
Victoria Park
London
E3 5NZ
Map

The Crown occupies an ideal location on the corner of Grove Road and Old Ford Road across from Victoria Park. Formerly the site of a Spanish Tapas restaurant and a previous pub also called the Crown, the newly reopened Crown is a fresh and welcome addition to the Victoria Park scene. Downstairs there are a variety of seating choices including comfy chairs, big tables with chairs and high tables with benches. Upstairs is a dining room with about 12 tables.

Our first visit to the Crown was during opening week in April 2008 and the place was bustling. We didn’t get a table in the dining room but instead we sat on stools at a bar-like area outside the dining room. The menu was limited but considering they had just opened we thought we should cut them some slack.  We have been back for a drink in the evening, but hadn’t returned to eat until recently.

This time we got a table in the dining room and the menu was considerably bigger, but we don’t feel the quality of the food lives up to the price. For starters we had the Beetroot Soup and Melon and Parma Ham. The soup wasn’t very hot (although it didn’t seem to be officially a cold soup) but the Melon and Ham was great. We both ordered the Rib Eye steak which came with a tin pot of chips for £17. The steak was definitely not good enough quality to be charging that much for and the chips were a bit hard. To spare our waistlines and pocketbooks, we passed on dessert.

I’m not sure I’d go back for food, but its definitely a nice place to go for a drink. The bar service is prompt and the cider is cold.

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