Saturday, 13 October 2018

VILLAGE HOTEL PUB & GRILL - Lakeshore Drive, Cosham

Today's adventure is brought to you in conjunction with my sister Emily, and her lovely man, Mr Rob. Emily suggested we try The Village Hotel, and always keen to try something new, I was happy to jump on board with the idea. This is a relatively new place, built in 2017. It is obviously a hotel, but part of it's substantial edifice given over to the pub and grill, and that dear readers is where we headed.

My first impression was that this is less a pub, and more a diner, all be it a very nice diner. This feeling lent weight by the tiled floor and neon signage. We had no trouble getting a table, which incidentally had very nice and comfortable chairs. We did have to wait a little while for menu's to appear, but that just gave us some extra time to assess. There was a good number of staff in view, which made me feel that orders would be taken from our table, this isn't the case. If you want something, it's a good old fashioned trip to the bar.

The menu was fairly sizeable, including a good selection of burgers, as well as your pub classics, wraps, and ribs. There were only three desert options though, each served curiously in a mug. Your choice is chocolate mousse, lemon cheese cake or crembrulet, each coming in at just under £6. Most main meals were around £12, which is pretty standard now a days.

I selected the Hawaiian stack burger. This was comprised of two flattened chicken breasts with pineapple, accompanied by the obligatory fries, with the option of an upgrade to sweet potato fries. Rob went for the American stack. This saw two beef burgers joined in a bun by bacon and, wait for it, peanut butter. Emily picked the half rack of ribs, which came with fries and coleslaw.

When it arrived, the food looked pretty good, and indeed tasted pretty good. The insides of the burgers were straining against the confines of their respective buns, the chicken was juicy, with a nice char grilled edge. I'm assured that the peanut butter burger was delicious, and that the ribs were also very good. The fries were just fries. Nothing to get excited about, but equally, nothing to be disappointed with. I will always advocate and champion the use of homemade fries/chips, but unfortunately my dream world full of delicious homemade chips is nothing more than a wild fantasy.

My sister was adamant that we were to have deserts, so Rob and I jumped on the sweet train, not wanting to seem rude. We both had the cheesecake, while Emily had the chocolate mousse. This I'm afraid is where the negative rears its head. Considering that there were clearly plenty of staff, and it wasn't super busy, it took an awful long time for someone to clear our plates. Also, while I'm on the grumble bus, no one asked if our food was okay, nor were we asked if we would like deserts. Eventually our mug puddings were ordered and placed before us. Although the cheesecake was pleasant enough, the filling wasn't really of a cheesecake consistency. I'm also not convinced that cheesecake works in a mug. The biscuit base is just too far removed from the top of the filling, leaving you with spoonfuls of rich creamy stodge before you break through to the biscuit. My sisters moose on the other hand was very nice in deed. It was however very rich and dense, Emily being very keen to stress just how dense it was, insisted that I try said moose. It was, as she says, very dense, but good. Those of you of the, "Can we share a pudding?", persuasion be warned, you probably won't be able to finish it.

After deep and frank discussions with my fellow diners, we came to the conclusion that this is quite a nice place to go, and that the food is pretty good, without being in any danger of expanding your foodie world, and the prices are about right. The temperature was good, and they have the eating soundtrack spot on, with a series of easy listening tunes. Our one major gripe was the inexplicable slow motion service. If you want to try something different, and you're not in a rush, it's worth a visit, but don't expect a pub, think diner.

Atmosphere          8
Service                 4
Food                    7
Value                   7
Verdict                 3.5*

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