South Coast Pork Chop

Fox and Goose

I was in London and staying at the Fox and Goose close to Hangar Lane. The restaurant is in the older part of the hotel, as the hotel part is now a new build at the back.

The menu changes every so often, and they always seem to have a range of choices, that means it can be difficult to choose what to have. Having looked over the menu I went with the South Coast pork chop, served with smoked mushroom, grilled tomato, onion rings and triple cooked chips.

The pork chop was cooked well, it was seasoned, and grilled to my liking. It was tender and moist. I couldn’t taste any smoke on the mushroom, but that and the tomato were ice. The chips were crispy on the outside and fluffy in the inside. The batter on the onion rings was nice crispy, but I felt they were a little on the greasy side. The pork was served with a small saucepan of gravy (or was it a sauce). Not sure it added much to the dish.

I enjoyed the food.

Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken

I was in London and staying at the Fox and Goose close to Hangar Lane. This is a Fullers Hotel and is part of the same chain at Drayton Court, which I have also stayed at.  The restaurant is in the older part of the hotel, as the hotel part is now a new build at the back. Despite being part of the same chain, they do have different menus. Their version of chicken was different to Drayton Court. So after having had my prawn cocktail starter I had the lemon and thyme roast chicken.

This was lemon and thyme roast chicken served on chorizo, courgettes, red onion and cannellini beans.

lemon and thyme roast chicken served on chorizo, courgettes, red onion and cannellini beans

The chicken was really good, full of flavour, moist and tender. You could taste the chicken, and the lemon and thyme enhanced the flavour.

The chicken was served on a bed of chorizo, courgettes, red onion and cannellini beans. The beans were a little overcooked, but the chorizo was excellent, large chunks of soft spicy chorizo.

Overall I really enjoyed this dish and would certainly order it again.

Nice looking salad

Nice looking salad

I was at John Lewis getting a coffee I had a quick look at what they were selling 

They did have a nice salad on the counter. It looked like a Panzanella style salad. On a bed of salad rocket leaves there was torn bread, dressed in what I would guess would be olive oil, parmesan, chicken, pancetta, red peppers, and pine nuts.

Something I would order and eat.

Smoked Salmon and Prawn Cocktail

When I go somewhere to eat and if there is a specials board, I do like to try something from the board, as if I go again, it probably won’t be on the menu again. Not all places have a specials board, and most chains don’t. Of course you then have something like Bills where the menu changes on a regular basis, they probably don’t need a specials board.

I am a semi-regular visitor to a couple of Fullers’ hotels in London, Drayton Court and the Fox and Goose. Now and again they will have a specials board (or menu). On a recent visit to the Fox and Goose they had their specials board and I had a look over it. 

Specials board

Two of the items on the board were standard menu items, they were just telling punters what the soup was and what the pie was.

The chicken shnitzel (sic) was something I had before at Drayton Court. I did though quite like the sound of the starter on the specials board. 

Fullers’ London porter smoked salmon & prawn cocktail with Bloody Mary sauce and sourdough. So I went with that.

Smoked Salmon and Prawn Cocktail

The dish arrived, without the bread! So I asked and out it came. It was a large sized starter, bigger than I thought it would be.

I did think that the smoked salmon was more like smoked mackerel. This wasn’t slices of smoked salmon, more chunks of salmon.

The prawns were plentiful and good. I did wonder about the sauce, I didn’t really taste the vodka in there, and I felt there needed to be more sauce. I did like the addition of the cucumber and the tomato.

I think the sourdough could have benefited from being toasted, it felt slightly stale and dry.

Overall it was an interesting dish and an interesting interpretation of a prawn cocktail. I think though it could have been a much better dish with a few tweaks.

Dyrham Park

Dyrham Park

We were visiting Dyrham Park, a National Trust propety, and after walking the grounds and visiting the house, we made our way to the stables for a cup of tea and something to eat.

It was half term, so the place was quite busy, and there was something of a queue. It would appear it was busier than expected, as they had sold out of a lot of their menu items, and it was only approaching one o’clock.

In the end the only items left were a vegan sausage roll, and a spicy cauliflower pasty. So we had one of each, mine was the cauliflower pasty. I also ordered for myself an espresso and a can of 7Up.

The pasty was served to our table, on its own on a plate. I wonder if they use to serve a salad garnish with it? I think it would have been enhance with a little salad on the plate. To be honest I might have even paid extra for some salad.

Well the pasty was nice and hot, the wholemeal pasty was excellent, and I really liked the spicy filling, the spices did somewhat overpower the flavour of the cauliflower, but I could still taste the cauliflower in there.

The coffee was nice.

This wasn’t a meal, more of a snack. Having visited a lot of National Trust properties this year (the benefits of membership) I have been wondering why the menu at these places are quite limited. As well as scones and cakes (naturally) the main menu items are pasties, baked potatoes, and soup. They sometimes have meals, but often the choice is only one or two. At Dyrham Park they did have a nice sounding Italian sausage casserole on the menu, but yes, you guessed, it had sold out.

I suspect that the menu has been derived from what sells, what was popular, and what makes money. Cooking a pasty and keeping it warm is much easier than cooking a meal. People are probably more likely to pay £4.55 for a pasty, then say £9.95 for a meal when visiting a property. I suspect the profit margin on the pasty would be much higher than the meal as well. Of course the profits from the cafe does support the property as well.

Overall I did enjoy our snack and drinks.

Chicken Schnitzel Caesar Salad

I was staying over at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing. This is a place I stay regularly when working away in London.

For my starter I had gone with the Beef Short Rib Bao Buns and had wanted the pan-fried lemon pepper chicken breast for my main course, but they had run out, so I went with the Norfolk chicken schnitzel with Caesar salad, anchovies and Parmesan.

It wasn’t my first choice because I didn’t really want a schnitzel. I thought it might be quite dry.

When the dish arrived it did look rather good.

Chicken Schnitzel Caesar Salad

The chicken schnitzel was on the bottom of the plate and placed on top was some baby gem lettuce, croutons, anchovies, and dressed with a Caesar salad dressing.

I really enjoyed the Caesar salad aspect of the dish, but the chicken schnitzel really let the dish down, it was slightly overcooked and as a result was quite dry. I think the dish would have worked better with a chargrilled chicken breast rather than the chicken schnitzel.

It’s back, that Lidl Coffee Ice Cream

It’s back, that delicious Lidl coffee ice cream.

Lidl Coffee Ice Cream

As part of their Flavours of Italy week Lidl are back selling their small tubs of coffee ice cream

When I first started buying these tubs, they were selling them at 99p per tub. The cost of living and inflation has obviously hit, as they are now £1.49 per tub.

They are not huge tubs, but what you get is a tasty creamy coffee ice cream, with a little chocolate in there as well.

We also like the amaretto tub and the lemon sorbet one is nice too.

No.1 British Free Range Pork Ribeye Steak again…

Having enjoyed the pack of No.1 British Free Range Pork Ribeye Steak from Waitrose on our barbecue the other day decided I would get another pack to cook.

This time though I followed the instructions.

They said…

Remove bag from box. Place the bag in simmering water for 15 minutes, remove from bag and pan fry on a medium heat for 6-8 minutes using butter to baste.

Now it may just have been that pack, but I think it might have  been the way I cooked it. It wasn’t as good as the first time we had it. It was not as tender and lacked flavour compared to the barbecued version I had done.

Not sure I will make the effort to get it again, especially after the special offer period is over; it’s currently 20% off.

Ô Craquelin Pâtisserie

As I walk around London there are quite a few posh looking pâtisserie shops selling exquisite cakes and pâtisserie. I might look in the window, but I rarely spend my pennies (well pounds) in there.

I was having a look around the TooGoodToGo app and saw that Ô Craquelin Pâtisserie had a magic bag. £18 of cakes for £6. I checked their website and quite liked the look of their offerings. I saw this magic bag as an opportunity to try out the cakes without spending a large amount of money.

Ô Craquelin Pâtisserie is a specialist pâtisserie close to Covent Garden. It describes itself as a micro-pâtisserie offering modern, hand-crafted desserts.

I had to wait around a bit to pick it up after work, but it was a nice sunny day.

I was given a warm welcome and went inside and told them I had a TooGoodToGo deal. After tapping and swiping, they popped into the fridge for a box, for a second I thought that was all I was going to get, then they picked up another box. I got a bag and placed them both in there.

Overall I got four cakes. Two chilled fresh cakes and two ambient cakes.

Now I actually have no idea what I actually got, as there were no labels. Now checking their website I can check what I had.

This was the Matcha Orange canapé.

Orange Madeleine enclosed within matcha mousse with white chocolate sable. It was quite nice, and you could taste the orange.

This was the 100% Pistachio canapé.

Pistachio Financier, pistachio cream and pistachio sable. This one I did guess as pistachio and was similar to the Matcha Orange canapé. I didn’t feel it had that intensity of pistachio flavour I would expect from pistachio pâtisserie.

I also got these two pâtisserie, which I have no idea what they were.

This was very nutty.

This had nuts and ganache.

Both were very nice.

I did enjoy the pâtisserie, but I am not sure I would go out of my way to get them again. They were good, but maybe I had high expectations, I was expecting excellence, what I got was delicious, great looking pâtisserie. What I didn’t get was an amazing pâtisserie experience. Maybe it might have been different if I went to the cafe there and had the pâtisserie with coffee, soaking in the atmosphere and the ambiance.

I quite like TooGoodToGo as a mechanism to try places out, see what they sell and how good it is. So in this instance, yes I felt I got a good deal, nice cakes, but would I go back, probably not.

No.1 British Free Range Pork Ribeye Steak

I had seen this pack in Waitrose a few times now and was intrigued.

British pork ribeye steak with sage leaves and thyme sprigs. Free range pork ribeye steak, tender, succulent and full of flavour, from pigs sired by pedigree Hampshire boars, a breed renowned for excellent meat. All our pigs are reared to higher welfare standards by British farmers who share our values

I was planning a barbecue with a mix of meats, so decided I would add this pork steak to the mix.

In the box was a sealed plastic pack containing the pork. I cut it open and was pleasantly surprised to find two steaks in the pack.

I then read the instructions on the back of the box…


It said…

Remove bag from box. Place the bag in simmering water for 15 minutes, remove from bag and pan fry on a medium heat for 6-8 minutes using butter to baste.

Well I didn’t do that!

Anyhow I cooked the steaks on the barbecue and they cooked well and were very tasty.