It was a trip in to the unknown for me this week, having never knowingly entered the land of Walington. Our destination was The White Horse. Dad had provided the pre-visit Intel, so it was now down to us to move in and get the job done.
We found a beautifully convenient car park just over the road and over a small bridge from the pub, and even better, it was free. As we approached the building, I was met by that classic old pub sent of beer. This was in perfect harmony with the insides of the pub, complete with pool table and a friendly lady behind the bar. There are a few tables out the front of the pub, and that's where we decided to place ourselves. The first thing you need to know, is that the food is sold off at a bargain price, virtually everything coming in under £8. We didn't get too excited though. Regular readers will know that we've been burnt several times recently with promises of good and affordable food, I'm looking at you Green King.
There is plenty on the menu to keep most people happy, as long as you aren't looking for fine dining. Things are kept relatively simple on the menu, most meals served with a choice of chips or jackets. Quite a few of the meals are also available in small or larger sizes. I was drawn to the haddock and spring onion fishcakes. These were accompanied by chips and a side salad, and all for less than £8. Dad went for the most expensive thing on the menu, but that was £12 so we'll let him off. For that £12, you can choose from rump, ribeye or sirloin steak, each weighing in at 8 ounces. Whatever your choice, your steak will come with a whole host of friends, we shall come to that later.
Dad had plumped for the rump, and when it arrived, it seemed quite impressive that the friendly lady could hold it up with one hand. The steak was served up with a mountain of chips, a salad, tomato, mushrooms and onion rings. My fishcakes just came with chips and salad. I would like to begin if I may, with the salads. I was impressed, but there was also a twinge of sadness. The elements of the salad were fresh and streaks ahead of your average lazy side salad, comprising of nice leaves, baby tomatoes, onion, pepper and cucumber. The glaring miss for me, was the lack of a dressing. It would have elevated a selection of salad items in to an interesting and valued part of the meal. My two fishcakes were of a good size and tasted very nice in deed. The chips were of the steak cut variety, and rounded off the plate nicely. Unusually, I finished my meal before Dad, who was struggling to make an impact on his pile of food. Everything was fine and dandy on his plate other than the steak itself. He had asked for rare, but he declared it more medium. This in itself would have been no great hardship, but the steak was also a little tough.
Let's get back on the value horse. As I stated at the start, we have visited several pubs of late offering cheaper food and we have been burnt badly. We are happy to report that was not the case here. The value is unquestionable. A huge steak dinner for £12 and anything else under £8, that's a bargain all day long. This isn't a pub masquerading as a restaurant. This is a pub selling decent food at a value price. That's all well and good in principle, but they actually back it up with some pretty good food, even if it is lacking a splash of dressing on the salad. If you're passing through Fareham and you're after a bargain feed at a traditional English pub, pull up in the free car park, cross the small bridge and pull up a seat at The White Horse.