Saturday, 26 September 2009

The Dog & Crook, Brambridge

Ian is soon to be 26 (very old indeed), so to celebrate, I took him, and my mum (she always tags along for the good food) to local pub & restaurant, The Dog & Crook. I've been here once before, a few years ago, when our graduate year group were still doing friday pub lunch trips. I remember the food being really good, but the speed not quite fast enough for a lunch time outing. As this was an evening meal, at the weekend, we figured that wouldn't be an issue.

We ordered four starters altogether, Ian opting for the pigeon breast, me for the scallops, Mum for the lambs kidneys and the crevettes for Ian and I to share. The scallops were served with crispy bacon on top of a pea puree. They were nice and big, perfectly cooked, and went well with the bacon and pea puree. The only disappointment was the olive oil drizzled around the pea puree, as this mixed with it and overpowered the flavour of the peas - 8/10. Ian's pigeon also came with bacon, and was tasty, but came on top of a dressed salad, which meant the dressing tainted the pigeon flavour a little - 8/10. Mum's kidneys came with bacon also, and toasted brioche, with the dressed salad on the side. Mum says it was nice, and I've told her to go find a thesaurus and say something other than nice - 9/10 (She did elaborate, apparently the brioche went well with the kidneys, and the madeira sauce was lovely too, and it was all nicely presented). The crevettes (jumbo prawns for those not in the know) were meaty and cooked well, and came with slices of brown bread and butter, Ian awards them 7/10 - I agree, mainly because I like my prawns (jumbo ones included) cold and these were served warm.

The service here was friendly, and attentive, and there was a decent gap between the courses, but not so long that we thought we'd been forgotten about. The setting was lovely, a good distance between other diners (although close enough that I could still ogle their food) and quiet enough to hear yourselves talking.

The mains we ordered were the oven roasted lamb with sweet potato and parsnip mash, and two helpings of the sirloin steak - Ian ordered the sweet chilli prawns with his We thought that the prawns would come on the side of the steak, kind of like a surf and turf, but in fact it was a prawn and chilli sauce to put on the steak. I got to try this, and wow, it worked sooo well with the steak. We were also impressed with the amount of prawns in the sauce, it was well worth the £2.50 extra - 9/10! My lamb was well cooked, and the accompanying mash was lovely and sweet and really complimented the lamb, 9/10. Mum's was the same as Ian's, minus the awesome sauce.

For dessert Ian ordered the belgian waffles, with forest fruit compote and sticky toffee ice cream. It was yummy!! Ian says the waffle and ice cream worked well together, but he wasn't so sure the ice cream went with the compote -8/10. Mum was quite full (she's only little) so she just had the sticky toffee ice cream, which was apparently better than the ice cream we had at the theatre, because it was less creamy (Mum's not big on dairy) - 8.5/10 (she's soo awkward!). For my dessert I chose the orange and lemon steamed sponge pudding, and it was moist, tasty and had a nice custard with it. The only failing on this was that it came with quite large bits of peel, and I'm not really a peely person - 8/10.

A very nice meal had by all, about £30 each (includes soft drinks). I'd very much recommend the sweet chilli prawns with the steak if you decide to visit. They also do a lot of seafood specials, and seemed to cater well for veggies.

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