This week we continued our exploration of the outskirts of Chichester with a trip to the recently recommended Richmond Arms. We were once again blessed with a sunny and unseasonably mild afternoon as we set off in search of the finest pub food.
After the usual greetings, drinks orders and collection of menus, we took a table in the corner and got down to business. This is where I shall raise two important points. Firstly, this may have been the best sounding menu we've come across. It was packed full of intrigue, imagination and many things that you simply wouldn't find in your average pub. It was immediately clear that this is no standard gastro pub, in fact it's more like a restaurant masquerading as a pub.
Second point to get in early, the prices are very much above the average pub menu. A main here will set you back between £16 and £18, which leads us in to the age old question. Is the food worth the money? That's a tricky one, and of course largely personal. But let's get back to that later.
I chose the salmon with crispy skin served with cauliflower and a sweet corn fritter. Dad went for the sticky, Smokey, slow cooked brisket. This came with winter slaw and dripping chips. For those of a vegetarian persuasion, rapeseed fried chips are also available. Everything was delicious and perfectly cooked, Dad was even kind enough to offer me one of his chips, they were dark, golden and crisp, just like a chip should be. We both even agreed to go as far as saying, this was some of the best, if not the best food we've eaten over our pub odyssey. Which leads us nicely back to the question of price. Considering that you would struggle to find better food, there is an argument that the high price is justified, but on the other hand, can a plate of pub food ever be worth £18? I think that's a choice that each customer has to decide on the merits of their own experience.
This is without question a lovely pub, well attired and peddling food of the highest standard. We wouldn't say the welcome and service were of quite the same order, but neither were they cold. Speaking of which, it could have been a few degrees warmer inside. There was however a nice bit of mellow jazz tinkling along in the background, while the atmosphere was pretty good, the bustle of a fairly busy lunchtime crowd adding to the homely feel.
If cost were no issue, we would insist that each and every one of you take a trip to The Richmond Arms, but price must always be a consideration, especially if you are a family of four or more and you don't want a heart attack when the bill comes. We feel the best course of action is to think of this as a restaurant, perhaps to be first explored on a special occasion, but if you get the chance to visit, don't pass it up.
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