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Hinds Head

The High Street, Bray, England, SL6 2AB, United Kingdom

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The Hinds Head has an attractive dining room with some exposed beams; the pub itself dates back to the fifteenth century. The Hinds Head kitchen is now run by Kevin Love, previously sous chef here and who trained with Gordon Ramsay amongst others. He is bringing a little seasonality to the menu, which is welcome, though some perennial menu favourites will remain as “signature dishes”. Three courses run to £27.50 on the set menu, while a la carte dishes will work out more. The wine list has choices such as Buiten Chenin Blanc at £19.50 for a wine that costs around £7 in the shops, Prophets Rock Riesling 2006 at £47.75 for a wine that will set you back around £15 to buy retail, Antinori Tignanello 2007 at £136 for a wine you can pick up for around £49 in the shops, up to Chateau Latour 1994 at £600 compared to a retail price of around £323.

Scotch egg (£3.50) was made with a quail egg and pork, the outside using panko crumbs; it was very tasty, though I still prefer the Harwood Arms version (which, to be fair, is a different dish as it uses venison rather than pork). However the pork here had good taste and the egg was soft inside (15/20). Pea and ham soup was a classic rather than seasonal example from the menu: the taste was excellent, seasoning accurate (15/20). Devils on horseback (£1.80) were well made, the prunes moist, the chutney having plenty of depth of flavour and the bacon adding smokiness (at least 14/20).

Ham hock terrine (£9.95) was enlivened with a little layer of foie gras and served with home-made piccalilli, which had just the bite to cut through the richness of the terrine (15/20). Chicken, smoked guinea fowl and mushroom pie (£16.50) had excellent pastry and plenty of rich content, the dish well seasoned: this is what a pie should be but so rarely is (16/20).   Fillet of bream with bacon, mushroom and red wine sauce (£20.50) had good quality fish, accurately cooked, with the bacon giving an attractive note to the red wine sauce (15/20).   Triple cooked chips (£3.50) were excellent, not too large, crisp and well-made (18/20). Spiced red cabbage (£3.50) was less good, for me a tiny bit under-cooked, while I would have preferred a little more sweet and sour effect to enliven the cabbage (13/20).

Quaking Pudding (£7.25) is based on a mediaeval recipe, the idea being to combine the texture of a warm crème brulee with that of a jelly; this was served with slices of apple on the side and was a comforting, enjoyable dessert, though for me technically accomplished than really delicious (between 13/20 and 14/20).  Apple and blackberry crumble with vanilla ice cream (£7.25) was genuinely good, the Granny Smith apples not too sharp, the blackberry working well with the apples, the crumble having good consistency and the vanilla ice cream superb (16/20 easily).

Both double espresso and capuccino were £3.50 and of good quality, served with a few petit fours, though this is another restaurant that will charge you if you full price if you order a second coffee. Service from our Hungarian waitress was superb. Our bill ran to £96 each with some good wine.

 

Further reviews: 01st Jun 2007

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  • Linda knowles

    I had lunch at the hinds head yesterday with my mother .we were very disappointed the meals were very Taste lest we had pat'e which had no flavour then I had chicken wings which looked horrid and tasted like rubber my mother had fillet of place very small with no taste but was very fishy with a lump of something underneath and the strawberry soup well just not worth talking about . But the service was very good but felt very sad for the tourists being rip off the prices were ridiculous for that experience it cost 101.00 we only had two glasses wine and soda lime and a brandy and coke.My mother used to dine there thirty years ago and the food used to be good British food she was very upset .

  • Mr Coast

    We got there a little before our booking time to order a pint and and it took them 15 minutes to deliver a pint and snacks (devils), the guy at the bar was unexperienced and careless. Then we moved up to the restaurant and we ordered drinks, two glasses of wine, one came 5 minutes after the other. After that we ordered food, the most expensive main course (grouse) in the menu, and we got a piece of raw poultry which was not edible. Finally, desert trickle tart was disappointing, all costed 75 quid. We simply will definitely not repeat, and if you can avoid it do it.

  • Russell Simpson

    Went for Sunday lunch in January this year. Had the roast chicken special which was excellent as was the broccoli with anchovies side dish although the roast potatoes didn't taste as good as they looked. My partner had the fillet steak with marrowbone sauce which was the best she's ever had and so were those famous chips which I had my fair share of! The welcoming and very efficent staff made the whole experience extremely enjoyable and made us realise how poorly we're catered for in and around Ipswich. By far the best restaurant anywhere near us is Scutcher's in Long Melford which is well worth a visit if you haven't been before? Going to The Fat Duck for dinner on April 4th, so will let you know how we get on.

  • Alex Chambers

    I'd agree wholeheartedly on that score. We popped in for lunch on a stunningly sunny day in mid June, prior to dinner at the Waterside Inn. The rabbit terrine had splendid texture and lovely crunchy pickles, whilst my wife's smoked salmon was wild and properly dressed. My main of skate with capers and parsley was well timed with no hint of ammonia, dressed in a correctly made black butter. We also had the Old Spot pork chop with pease pudding (something of a blast from the past) which was a generous slab of meat cooked superbly; not a hint of toughness or dryness. A side of triple cooked chips was, as Andy said, about as good as chips can be. The only real letdown was a rather poor Eton Mess- this is one of my favourite desserts but in this case the meringue was in far too large lumps and the cream was ridiculously sickly. perhaps a 1/10 for the pud. Not exactly ambitious but a thoroughly enjoyable meal. Reasonable wine list too.

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