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

8 friends for dinner on a Tuesday night.  Great fun…and in a full gastro level pub.  (Click for their website – loads of awards!)

The Royal Oak Pestbury

Ironically I used to go to this pub as a member of a Skittles team. It was a cider pub, with no food…it appears to have changed rather a lot in the last 20 years! (Skittles still happens…so not all is lost…)

Just read the starters. Herring milts and king prawns. “Milts – erm, like the male equivalent of roe”. Not easy for the waiter! Scallops. Devon crab and prawn cocktail. Soup. Pigeon breast.  And all a bit different. The pigeon breast was rare, pretty substantial and the salad dressed with a bit of lemon bite.  The prawn and crab cocktail seemed quite substantial again, but had a lovely old fashioned feel, but with a modern twist. Everyone tucked in happily.

Duck breast with pulled pork? Sounds daft? Worked splendidly! Grey mullet with 4 (I counted them) scallops. Mine also had roast new potatoes, green beans and tomatoes. The seared tuna steak had a smoky rub…and seemed to satisfy Mike who was sitting next to me.  Chicken breast with an enticing sauce (Forest mushroom and Parmesan cheese), that was creamy and lemony.  And, for our meat and two veg traditionalist…a beautifully simple sirloin steak and fat chips, triple cooked.

The menu has a section called “Side Dishes – want any extras or sides?”  Honestly – I would be surprised if you needed them.  The dishes are all substantial.  They obviously have hearty Yorkshire style appetites in Gloucestershire!

As ever, eating well with lots of long term friends is always a great way of making the occasion good whatever you eat.  But this pub, which has a lovely front of house staff, and a kitchen that loves its ingredients (and really doesn’t skimp at all) then the evening moves from great fun, to memorable.


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