Today, me and Dad headed to Emsworth with empty stomachs. The pub we would charge with filling those same stomachs was The Sussex Brewery.
Out the front of the pub are some mighty wooden tables that wouldn't be out of place in a Viking banqueting hall. As lovely as it would have been to feast on the half trees that make up said table, the weather was rather changeable and certainly not to be trusted. We didn't mind though, as this is a nice cosy pub. It's what I always think of as a Hobbit pub. Lots of wood, open fireplace and a wonderful example of an old English pub. I can easily imagine those bare footed Halflings craning their neck at the bar and carrying off huge flagons of ale.
We received a friendly greeting as we collected menu's and drinks. We then took a seat and got down to the real business of the day. There is a specials board, largely dominated by O'Hagan's sausages. The main menu was imaginative and scattered with clues to the chef's obvious propensity to make everything in house, even the baked beans. There are also a range of sharing plates priced around £15, as well as smaller nibbles such as olives, pork pie and sausage and black pudding roll.
Dad opted for the fish and chips, with crushed, minted peas. I went for sausage and mash with onion gravy. But these weren't just sausages, in fact they weren't really sausages at all. They were vegetarian Glamorgan sausages with leek and cheese. My choice was just over £10 and Dads fish and chips was just under £12. As is becoming common in many gastro pubs, some of the meals were perhaps slightly over priced, though some, my sausage and mash for example, were pretty much on point.
As we chatted and waited for our food to arrive, I warmed to the pub even more, thinking what a lovely refuge it would be on a cold and damp winters night, with the fire roaring and a bunch of merry Hobbits in the corner. We are increasingly finding that the smell of the food in pubs is an accurate portent of the food to come, and there were some wonderful smells filling the room as we waited. Sure enough, our food appeared in a cloud of wondrous sent, reassuring and comforting. I was keen to try the mash first, past experience teaching that mash is a very good gage of the chef's capability. I wasn't disappointed, the mash was beautiful, as were the sausages, and just as important, the gravy. A nice bonus was the spoonful of caramelised onions, very tasty indeed. Dad was given a lovely peace of fish in a very crisp batter, accompanied by well cooked chips and tasty, minty peas. A solid showing on the fish and chip front. I was curious as to whether the vegetarian sausages were home made. When our plates were cleared, I asked that very question, and I am happy to report that they certainly are.
This is definitely one of the top foodie pubs in Emsworth, we should know. The food is of a high standard and virtually everything is made in house. As I said earlier, the pub itself has a lovely warm feel to it and the staff are genuine and friendly. We are happy to recommend this pub, so if you fancy eating out in Emsworth, be sure to give it a try.
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