Is it just me or is there a lack of decent pubs around nowadays? Everywhere is filled with chained restaurants with most just churning out lack lustre food with no heart and soul and charging an arm and a leg for it. We as a family have been on the lookout for a new place to eat and have heard some great things about The Onslow Arms in Clandon and decided on a whim that Friday night was the night to give it a go.
The pub itself has heaps of character with traditional features, exposed beams and a huge fireplace. From the outside you don’t realise how big it is and there is a large outdoor seating area to enjoy come the nicer weather.
The menu expands a variety of dishes from your traditional fish and chips, to steak, to beef burger (FYI looked amazing and on my must try list), to rotisserie chicken and curry. You are not overwhelmed with choice for the main meals which is sometimes nicer than having so much choice you haven’t a clue what to pick. From first glance what I will say is boy do they love their garlic, it is literally embedded within most of their dishes. Now given I detest everything about garlic with an absolute passion, this made it very limiting.
Dinner choice as you can see was – Scotch fillet steak, sautéed new potatoes & red onions, wilted spinach, slow roasted tomatoes & watercress butter. I did of course opt out of the garlic roasted Portobello mushroom!! I loved the plating, elegant, pretty and not at all what you may expect from a pub, however there wasn’t a great deal on the plate for £23.50.
The Scotch fillet steak cut like a dream was cooked to a medium perfection and aided by the butter it just melted in the mouth. The rustic sautéed potatoes could have been a tad crispier but they were delicious nonetheless, and it was a pleasure to see they still had the skins on. The caramelised onions were an added bonus that worked with all the components without sending it over the edge.
Taste wise I could not fault this dish at all, however what I would like is clarity on the menu. I forgoed the mushroom for the very reason it was roasted in garlic however the tomato was also ladened in the stuff, which thank the lord I didn’t put a big chunk of it my mouth or goodness knows what would have happened and taking the tomato off the plate I wasn’t left with that much left to eat. As a side note what would have been nice was the option for a sauce, a good old peppercorn sauce would have worked wonders with this steak.
Pudding. I love pudding and I will always say no to a starter to ensure there is room for one. With 9 puddings and an array of pudding wines, spirits and tea/coffee, there is something to tantalise anyones taste buds. Naturally I went straight for ice cream which was in the form of a Banoffee Sundae – banana and butterscotch ice cream, chocolate ice cream, toffee, granola nut crunch, hot chocolate fudge sauce. – it has banana surely it’s one of your five a day!!
My god this was heavenly, above heavenly in fact. The banana ice cream was out of this world and I need it in my life at all times. It was super bananary, creamy, perfect sweetness and as close to eating a real banana as you are going to get. In fact it trumps a banana! Usually I don’t like chocolate ice cream, the flavour is never right and has a odd taste to it, however I wolfed this down no problem.
What is interesting is instead of butterscotch ice cream as the menu suggests it was butterscotch sauce….. That being said the sauce was thick and gloopy and delightfully moreish. The crunchy nut granola was a great addition to cut through the smooth ice cream and sauce and the banana slices were just enough to see you through the whole dessert. What is that on the side of the bowl …. A jug of hot chocolate sauce is what it is, I contemplated drinking it it was that good. Over all the best dessert I have had in a very long time. If nothing else I would go there just for that!
There we have it one delicious meal consumed. As a whole it tasted amazing. The quality was there, the service was second to none, the atmosphere although noisy at times still had a welcoming feel to it. The pudding was of course my favourite dish and I am already craving another dose of it. Although the steak was beautiful, the main was let down for two reasons, not enough value for money and the garlic factor. As a whole I do wish for a bit more clarity on the menu and please not so much garlic.
The Onslow Arms is serving delicious home cooked food with passion and is definitely a place to try, but be sure you book in advance. There is also a Lunch Menu on offer and one that I am looking forward to trying soon. For more information on The Onslow Arms including current menus, visit their website here.
Nibbles ‘n’ Scribbles x