Food cooking and eating – stories and ideas from a passionate foodie

You get varying reports on Trip Advisor.  Don’t be fooled by the occasional 1 star.  This is probably from either jealous competitors or people who don’t like change.  Look, I love my ham egg and chips lovingly created at The Crooked Billet in Sheepridge Lane – but that’s pub food – proper, and good and real.  The Coach is like pub food designed by Picasso…sort of looks like what you expect but is a bit different?

The open kitchen

The open kitchen

“While you are waiting for the Quail – here’s the mushroom risotto…it’s mainly mushroom, and there’s no rice…”

It was fab.  Intense, yes, mushroom led, lots of herbs, two different cheeses, lively, and a frighteningly full flavoured and satisfying dollop of gorgeousness. (Dollop sounds too negative…but I just got too excited).

“Chilli” it says on my receipt. “Venison Chilli with Toasted Rice Cream, Red Wine and Chocolate” is what it says on the menu.  Better!  But it doesn’t warn you of the Picasso like deconstruction again.  Rice is toasted until it is dark, then the alchemists cook it to a cream, and then foam that somehow (I’m an at home cook…I didn’t quite understand when Nick Beardshaw, Head Chef, explained this to me…I don’t need the detail.  That’s their job.  It was just great fun to eat.)  And when you make a comment, someone will always stop in their tracks and explain a bit more.  It is just passion and love.

The chips went with both the chilli and the quail.  They are a wonder in their own right.  Fat.  Big, Dark, Crispy. Dry. And you dip them into Bernaise sauce.  What’s not to love??

“Quail”? Whole Stuffed Rotisserie Quail, is the menu description.  But this doesn’t do it justice.  The rotisserie is a mad scientists contraption sitting near to the bar at the kitchen end.  Your little half boned quail sits happily in there for about 20 minutes.  Then served, with forcemeat and whatever else is secretly in the stuffing…lovely in itself. But the sauce.  Just astonishing.  I actually closed my eyes and held my breath.  I didn’t want the moment to end.  Sorry, that sounds loopy.  But you will do the same.

Trasna (Now of Rebellion Brewery fame) told me once that food that is fought over (or any bad atmosphere) always tastes as if it has been.  We have the opposite at The Coach.  You can feel the love.

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