Monday, 1 August 2011

The Kingswood Arms, Surrey

After attempting the slow crawl round the M25 on a hot Saturday afternoon - to drop my sister and her boyfriend at his parent's house - we found ourselves in need some serious need of refreshment.  They recommended the Kingswood Arms, a traditional local pub with a big beer garden.  Perfect to sprawl with the weekend papers and a pint of hair of the dog.

The menu was solid, if unspectacular; all the usual suspects, grills, pizza etc are available, plus some regularly changing seasonal specials. Beer selection was decent; my London Pride was fine, but a good gulp short of a pint.  Although the booze was at Surrey prices the two course set menu at £9.99 seemed a bargain. With my delicate condition I was tempted to just go for the soup, but with a main just being an extra fiver, decided to have the fish too.

Fennel and celeriac soup was mild mannered and pretty tasty. A soothing choice for my delicate  constitution.  No butter with the bread though, making it hard going when your mouth already feels like the Atacama.

The Ewing's whitebait were fairly sturdy examples, with a hefty outer crumb, but were crisp, hot and  greaseless, and soon disappeared when dunked in the zingy tartare sauce that accompanied them.

Both of us then chose the butterflied golden trout with mange tout and new potatoes.  All very nice; perfectly cooked peas and fish with a lovely, tangy caper butter.  A decent piece of simple, light summer cooking.

Most mere mortals would have been left defeated after the amount we had eaten in the proceeding couple of weeks, but not so easily beaten the Ewing went off in search of the dessert menu. As I'm such a kind and generous girlfriend (and feeling slightly guilty I had dragged her out of bed and halfway around Surrey) when she started to dither over which pud to choose I insisted she got both and I'd help her eat them. Yes, I'm quite the milk of human kindness.

Both were very good but standout was the coffee and Bailey's panna cotta.  It was perfectly sweet and creamy, not too much 'bounce' and with a great bean-studded bitter coffee layer on top.  The cherry cheesecake was also a decent effort, crispy base and pleasantly claggy, as a good cheesecake should be, but the Ewing's heart had been stolen, and so I ended up eating most of it.

So, no alarms and no surprises, but a nice stop for a good pud and to while away a sunny afternoon. 

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