Friday 15 November 2013

Restaurant Review - The Cricketers, Chandlers Ford

Restaurant name: The Cricketers Arms
Location: Chandlers Ford, near Southampton
Description: Country pub that is part of the Greene King group
Reason for visit: My dad's birthday - the pub is not far from my sister's house.

bread, olives and oil

I ate: Hunter's Chicken - chicken in a bbq sauce with cheese and bacon, with chunky chips (£7.95). For dessert we shared the pudding board (£7.45), which had three small desserts: apple and fig crumble, marmalade and ginger cheesecake, and chocolate torte, along with three small bowls containing vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream and crème fraiche.
My companions ate: Roast beef (on the specials board), prime beef burger with cheese and bacon, salmon, pollock and scallop fish pie with cheesy mash.
Hunter's chicken
The food was: Good, though my chicken dish was a bit too oily with the cheese and the bacon. The burger was described as excellent and everyone enjoyed their food. The roasts come with unlimited veg and roast potatoes too which is really good. There are pub classics on the menu and also some more interesting options like a "pig board" which includes scotch egg, sausage roll, pork belly and sausages. The build-your-own-burger menu allows you to choose different cheeses and toppings and sweet potato fries or even quinoa as a side dish, which isn't something I've seen on a menu together before. The pudding board was delicious and a good size for three or four people to share, but the 'fruity compote' was listed separately (after the ice cream and crème fraiche) when in fact it was part of one of the desserts, on top of the cheesecake. For anyone who doesn't like fruit compote (ie me) that wasn't ideal.
fish pie
 The atmosphere/service was: They had no record of our reservation when we arrived, which annoyed my mum, but they had no problem finding us a table, and we had generally good service. But even though when we sat down we asked for a table for five, the waiter came back over a few minutes later when nobody else had arrived and asked me and my boyfriend if we were ready to order. He then offered bread and olives while we were waiting and as neither of us like olives we asked for bread but were told we couldn't have one without the other. When the bread came, there was oil and balsamic vinegar to dip it into, but as the bread was quite hard (intentionally, not stale) it wasn't the best kind to soak up oil, and butter would have been better. It's a small thing, but it did niggle.
Pudding board

Price range/value for money: For a Londoner this seemed really good value; the unlimited veg with the roast dinners is a nice touch and I would have paid a lot more for the dessert selection (and would have to, in London!).
Would I recommend it? Yes, it's a nice country pub, albeit not far from a main road, but has a big car park, outdoor area and good food.

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