Monday, 24 August 2015

THE HURDLES - Station Road, Droxford

This week I asked my Dad to point the car at Droxford and go forward. He thought it would be a better idea to stick to the roads. I was interested in The Hurdles, as it has recently had a refurb and hired an award winning chef, information gleaned from their own website.

We were joined on our trip by George Magee who was ready and willing to give his own input for this review.

We were blessed with a day of sunshine, so thought it right and proper to take a table outside. We did venture inside briefly to collect menus and drinks, and at a quick glance things didn't look too different, although I don't remember there being much wrong with the interior last time we visited.

George's first contribution was to point out that the table and chairs weren't especially clean. We were also joined at the table by a mostly dead pot of oregano, not great for first impressions.

The real shock however was to come with the opening of said menus. The average price for a meal was £14 - £15, in our opinion too much for a pub, especially at lunch time. This wasn't just extravagant fodder, it included fish and chips, sausage and mash and steak and kidney pie. Coincidentally, these were the three things we ordered. I was going to have something else, but was told that was the one thing they didn't have, a bit of a shock considering there were only two other people there and it was only just gone 12.

Never the less, I made a quick change to the fish and chips. It came with homemade tartar sauce and minted peas, but more unusual was the fish element. It wasn't cod or haddock, but both. Two small fillets, one of each. I'm not sure quite what the point of that is. I consider myself to have pretty expansive taistbuds, but cod and haddock don't taste different enough to warrant having both on the same plate.

That said, it was very good. Hand cut, thick style chips and well made fish. BUT, I have had fish and chips which were as good or better in other pubs which cost half the price. Fish and chips is a meal which can never be worth £14.

Dad was happy with his pie, it was a proper pie, not one of those pretend ones which only has pastry on the top. It came with Colcannon mash, (Mash with cabbage in it), but it also came with cabbage on the side, a bit of an oversight me thinks, or an overcabbage.

At first George thought his sausage and mash was quite good, but his enthusiasm waned as he ate. The mash was lacking in flavour and the sausages weren't the best he'd ever had. A bit disappointing for a £12 lunch. I seem to recall that this was the cheapest main on the menu.

We struggled a bit when discussing our review on this one. The food is good and I would never put anyone off going here, and if we'd sat inside without the slightly unclean table and chairs and dead herbs, we may have felt slightly different. But without doubt, the issue is the costing. we believe that a pub meal shouldn't generally cost much more than £10 unless it is exceptional and faultless. I just can't see any way of justifying prices like that, certainly not at lunchtime, when many pubs and restaurants will offer cheaper alternatives. As I said, we wouldn't put you off going, just be prepared for a substantial hit when the bill comes.

Atmosphere  7
Service        7
Food           8
Value          5

Verdict       3.5*

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