Saturday, 16 January 2016

THE RISING SUN - North lane, Clanfield


We've been to The Rising Sun many times. It's changed hands more times than the ring in Tolkien's epic story. We had yet to drop in under the current management, so thought it was time to put that right.

We've always had a bit of a soft spot for this pub. It has the feel of a good old pub, whilst being of a good size. There's a car park, several entrances, and a smattering of outdoor seating. This does involve being rather close to the road though.

Dad and I found a nice quiet table in the corner and got stuck in to the menu. The first few items on the main menu worried us a little, costing around £14, but as we went on, the meals gradually came down in price to a much friendlier level. Dad has a bit of a thing at present for duck eggs, so when he saw one of his favourites, ham and chips served with duck eggs, he was sorted. I simply fancied fish and chips, so that's what I had. Dad's choice was £12.95, while mine was £11.95. I'd say that's pretty much bang on in terms of what those meals should cost in a decent eatery.

There was some music playing at just the right level, and the temperature was good. When the food arrived, that also looked pretty good. My fish looked nice and chunky, but upon cutting, it became clear that the batter was quite thick. I don't mind this too much, but I think some might. The chips were hand cut, and they were fantastic. I would have liked a touch more tartar sauce, and perhaps more of the mushy peas, but on the whole, I was very happy. Dad's ham was very good, and his chips, like mine, were excellent, although he doesn't like me talking about chips too much. The big disappointment from his point of view though, were the eggs. They weren't duck eggs.

Whoever is in charge of The Rising Sun, is always off to a good start. The pub is a nice place to spend time, and there are plenty of tables. The food here is very good, and the pricing is for the most part spot on. With our critical heads on, we think the menu could be a bit more imaginative, but that's no major criticism. There is always time, and menu's are always changing. I would sum up our visit as solid. No major issues, and we would be happy to eat here again.

Atmosphere          7
Service                 7
Food                    8
Value                   8
Verdict                4*

Older review.

When we heard that The Rising Sun was under new ownership, it was immediately plotted on our future review map. We have previously reviewed this pub, but think it only fair to start with a clean slate and an open mind when a pub falls under new stewardship. This is an account of our most recent adventure in to pubington.

I have always had a bit of a soft spot for this pub. We have often spoken of the potential. Even though the food hasn't always been the best, I always feel warm and comfortable there. As well as being a good size, the general layout is good whilst being light and publy, (If publy isn't a word, I've just made it up, so now it is).

Upon entry, we were greeted warmly enough, and after ordering drinks, were told that menu's would be brought over. They were true to their word, and menu's were delivered. We wasted little time getting stuck in to our options. The menu wasn't huge, and to the best of our knowledge, wasn't supplemented by a specials board. The average price of a meal in a gastro pub has ticked up to £13, and that was pretty much the deal here, although some meals did sneak up nearer the £16 mark. What we did appreciate, were the extra little touches and attention to detail. A good example being the fish and chips, which came with either a pickled onion or pickled egg.

Dad went classic, choosing the fish and chips. I picked the supreme of chicken. I also took the opportunity to test the pubs policy on flexibility. I asked if I could have chips instead of new potatoes, this I was told was no problem, extra points there. The chicken came with either a mushroom or stilton sauce. I of course chose the stilton. Firstly because stilton is a beautiful thing, secondly, because mushrooms are the spawn of hell.

As we waited for food, we took some time to tick off the list of pub fundamentals. Warm, check. Music, check. Clean, check. Friendly staff, check. The final test would be the food, and we didn't have to wait too long for that. When it arrived, it looked very good. Our chips were of the home made and tasty variety, Dad's fish was jacketed in a crisp batter. It was also sizable, leaving Dad struggling to finish. My chicken was well cooked, though not of the same proportions as the fish. The stilton sauce was perfect and the caille was just right, although I would have liked a touch more of it.

After mentioning the potential of this pub, we feel it is now in the best hands it has ever been to fulfil that promise. They have addressed all the basics and the food is very good. Afterwards, in the car, we found it hard to find fault with anything. But if pushed, we would suggest the following. A slight downwards tweak to some of the pricing, a few more imaginative meals on the menu, and I know this is a small thing, but I do think you should get the option of mushy peas when ordering fish and chips. These are all small things which are easily rectified, and none of them detracted from our lunch. We like this pub and would recommend that you try it for yourselves.

Atmosphere          8
Service                 8.5
Food                    8.5
Value                   7
Verdict                 4.5*

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