Sometimes I find I go to a pub and my expectations are extremely low. I dread opening the menu to find a selection of dull and unimaginative offerings of which I don’t really want to eat any. I had this feeling when I went to The Rising Sun for the first time and what greeted me on reading the menu was such a pleasant surprise.
I have to say I think my jaw visibly dropped. I was expecting fish and chips, sausage and mash and mushroom risotto. Having a menu like the below raised a different issue entirely; what to choose when everything sounds so good. It seemed to have all the in vogue stuff on it: Gloucester Old Spot, rabbit, barley broth, smoked bone marrow and pig’s cheeks. It felt like a more modern version of what you might have found cooking there 100 years ago. There was much deliberating.
I decided to try the crispy hen’s egg because I loved the sound of the hedgehog mushrooms and I wanted to know what they were like. I was awakened when the plate was put in front of me; it was so pretty and vibrant for a plate of winter vegetables. Some large slices of sweet, roasted parsnip were accompanied by a smooth celeriac purée sharp balsamic beetroot, squidgy little mushrooms (still not quite sure what’s hedgehog about them but lovely nonetheless), crispy onions and bits of salad and herb. The egg was wonderfully cooked with the lovely crispy coating rounding the plate off to a well seasoned finish. As a plate of vegetables goes they don’t get much more enticing than this. I was very pleased.
I knew I had to have the buttermilk pudding as I had never heard of it before. With a thyme poached pear and orange and almond biscotti it sounded like this pudding and me were going to be great friends. And we were. I could have eaten that buttermilk pudding until they threw me out. The pear was wonderful; a glorious colour, a faint whiff of thyme and no fear of eating the core as the inside had been carefully hollowed out. I could never get bored of this.