Any kitchen where the chef works alone (with not even a kitchen porter to help) seems to me an impressive thing in itself. It is all the more so when the food that emerges is of a high standard, as it is here. The dining room is simple but pleasant, and there are a few tables in a conservatory area at the front of the pub, which has its own car park to the rear.
Bread was made from scratch in the kitchen, a mix of mini baguettes and white rolls, all with very good texture (14/20). A nibble of butter beans with piquillo peppers had a gentle bite of spice from the peppers, which lifted the flavour of the tender beans; a very enjoyable start to the meal (14/20).
Cromer crab with apple, cashew nuts and a little passion fruit jus had a generous amount of shell-free and very fresh tasting white crab meat, nicely balanced by the slivers of apple, the nuts adding an additional texture (15/20). Croustade with morels and spinach featured well-made pastry and excellent mushrooms (14/20).
Lovely tasting and accurately cooked John Dory came with seasonal vegetables, including carrots and particularly precisely cooked spinach (15/20). For dessert, mango mousse was very pleasant, having good fruit flavour and pleasing texture (14/20). Overall, the ingredient quality here is high and the cooking precise, making the most of those ingredients.
Service, provided by assorted members of the chef’s vast family (Simon Bonwick has nine children), was charming. The bill for this tasting menu came to an almost absurdly reasonable £26 per person before tip. The cooking here seems to get better with each meal, with more than one dish at the level I would hope for at a one-star restaurant rather than a bib gourmand one. If you are ever in the Maidenhead area then do yourself a favour and pop in.
Further reviews: 14th Feb 2020 | 26th Jul 2019 | 05th Jul 2019 | 16th Mar 2019 | 08th Mar 2019 | 07th Dec 2018 | 06th Jul 2018 | 29th Mar 2018 | 23rd Sep 2017 | 20th Jan 2017 | 05th Sep 2015 | 28th Mar 2015 | 10th May 2014 | 02nd Nov 2010