The Dew Drop Inn is a 17th century pub located in woodland near Maidenhead, a tavern supposedly frequented by the legendary highwayman Dick Turpin. In 2023 it was taken over by Simon Bonwick, formerly of The Princess of Shoreditch, but who made his reputation at The Crown at Burchetts Green. We had a short tasting menu at £60 per person. The a la carte options were priced from £7 to £12 for starters, £22 to £38 for mains and £10 for desserts, with cheese at £14. The pub can seat up to forty people at capacity, and has garden seating as well as the main room. As in his previous venue, Simon works alone in the kitchen, with the front of house handled by his daughter India and her sister Florence.
Bread was made in the kitchen and had lovely texture, going nicely with the first course of fish soup. This classic dish depends upon how much care has been put into its ingredients. The version here had a stock made with turbot bones, langoustine shells and crab shells and had deep flavour intensity. The soup also had a few little prawns to add flavour, and was expertly seasoned. This took me back to the days of Nico Ladenis, who used to make a dazzling fish soup at his restaurants such as Chez Nico (17/20).
Turbot was from a large 7kg wild specimen from Cornwall, garnished with a single Brittany prawn, new season Wye Valley asparagus and also a little Chinese style steamed dumpling, all resting in a seafood sauce made using langoustine shells and the cooking juices. The turbot was nicely cooked and had excellent flavour, as you would expect from such a large fish, and the asparagus was lightly cooked and balanced the deeply flavoured sauce well (16/20). Veal from Limousin in France came with spinach and carrots, the delicately cooked meat set off by a rich demi-glace sauce. The vegetables balanced the richness of the meat, and the sauce itself was suitably rich and unctuous (15/20).
For a cheese course we had ripe Epoisses accompanied by excellent home-made flap jacks. Dessert was rum baba, which had a lovely moist bread base, enhanced by rum poured over at the table and a scoop of ice cream (16/20). Coffee was the lovely Jamaican blue mountain from Difference Coffee, accompanied by shortbreads and baklava made by Simon Bonwick’s wife Deborah. The bill came to £75 per person including a tip, which is terrific value for food of this calibre. The Dew Drop Inn represents the very best of hospitality, with high end French cooking in a welcoming rustic setting.
Further reviews: 29th Sep 2023