Several things can occur when out for a meal. One of these is that the food you order is made from poor ingredients and cooked badly, another could be that the dish is too complex and cooked terribly. My favourite meals out are those where excellent ingredients are cooked to perfection in a simple way and The Royal Oak at Ecchinswell does exactly this.
The menu looked very promising, choosing what to have was the only issue. I decided to forgo a starter and save room for pudding for a very good reason; the head chef here had, at one time, been the second best pastry chef in France. I’m not sure anyone would ignore the pudding menu knowing that.
I always feel uncomfortable taking a picture in a restaurant but I’ve not been to somewhere laid out quite like this. They had several smaller rooms, each with only five or six tables in, rather than one huge room. It had a more homely feel and was lovely as we felt like the only people in the whole place despite it being extremely busy.
When I order lamb cutlets with dauphenoise and green beans that is exactly what I expect to get and I prepare myself for what I imagine will turn up in front of me. I was delivered exactly what I had ordered, with no extra frills or fuss, just beautiful ingredients treated with respect. The juicy lamb was pink inside with a wonderful smoky flavour from the griddle, the dauphenoise tasted incredible with a beautiful soft texture and the beans still had a little crunch and sweetness. The jus was rich, dark and unctuous and they weren’t shy with it either. You can get some strange looks extracting a magnifying glass and trying to locate a few dribbles of jus strewn around the plate. It would have been improved if the smoked bacon (around the beans) had crispy rather than gelatinous fat but I ate it anyway.
There was also a venison burger on the table and although I didn’t get to try any, I did manage to pinch an onion ring. I’m not sure there are the words to describe this onion ring. It was immense. Soft, sweet, juicy onion and hot, salty, crispy batter. Absolutely the epitome of onion rings.