The Crabtree is just down the road from the River Café, and has extensive outdoor seating, including riverside tables. On this unusually chilly September evening we huddled inside, where the décor is simple and pleasant. The wine list has nothing over £34, with examples such as Rioja Urbina 1998 at £29 for a wine you can buy for £12, and the enjoyable Moss Wood Semillon 2006 at £32.50 compared to a retail price of £15.
A salad of crispy pork belly (£7) had frisee lettuce with capers and mustard dressing, a good combination though the salad could have done with a lot more dressing than was present; the pork belly pieces themselves were decent (11/20). A vegetable terrine (£5.50) was supposed to feature tomato but actually had red pepper, goat cheese and potato. It was acceptable, though rather heavy given the cheese and the potato (just about 11/20). The best dish was mackerel (£10.50), pan roasted with mango salsa and new potatoes, the fish having good taste and the salsa being enjoyably punchy (12/20). Fish and chips (£11) used beer batter, but the result was merely decent, with bought-in chips and mushy peas that were really a pea puree (11/20).
A lemon tart (£5) was home made, but the pastry was very hard, though the filling was reasonable (12/20). Ice creams are bought in. Overall, it would be a nice place to sit out on a warm summer evening, with the food acceptable rather than inspiring. The bill came to £45 per person.