I wrote recently about the growing reputation of the Golden Pheasant at Etton, and how since its takeover a little more than a year ago it had soared up the TripAdvisor rankings in Peterborough.
But its popularity was not just down to the fact that the village had a pub once more, and a very nice spruced up one at that, with a fire burning on the day we arrived; the food offering was a major factor.
The menu boasts some pretty appealing “gastro” dishes - Stuffed chicken breast wrapped in parma ham... rack of lamb served with dauphinoise potatoes.... pork tenderloin served with dauphinoise potatoes, heritage carrots, textures of apple with a cider reduction....roast Cornish hake, charred onions, mussel veloute, prosciutto, creamed mash and dill oil.
But a midweek pub lunch called for a pub “classic” - the menu offering various burgers, ribs, steak, fish and chips, pie and chips - that kind of thing.
First up, starters, and I had a decent portion of nicely cooked mushrooms - with a bit of bite in them - quite subtle flavoured , but thick and creamy garlic sauce (£5.95). A couple of chunks of crusty bread mopped it up nicely.
Nothing subtle about Donna’s starter. Landlord Johno lived in Spain for a few years and the prawn pil pil (£6.95) - a tapas favourite - is his pride and joy which came with a warning - it is hot.
And he wasn’t kidding, whoa, too much heat for me although Donna lapped it up. Served still sizzling in a clay dish, the king prawns were spot on and the sauce - loaded with garlic, chilli and paprika - proved a powerful combination.
Donna’s vegetable Thai curry (£12.95) which followed was a treat; smooth and delicately flavoured - no overpowering coconut here - it was packed with crisp asparagus, carrots, parsnips, leaks, and came with soft and fluffy sticky rice.
My pie of the day - steak and ale with chips, peas and gravy (£12.95) - brought back memories of my childhood (I am from the north).
The chunks of meat could have been softer to be honest, but otherwise the filling and the slightly stodgy case (well it was covered in a rich, meaty gravy) was delightful. And the chips -crisp outside, soft inside - were all manner of shapes and sizes, just like we used to have out of the chip pan in the 70s. Proof if needed that they don’t all have to be the same shape and size, which seems to be the norm these days.
A thumbs up too for the children’s hot dog - two big, meaty sausages keeping our four-year-old happy and quiet.
Brad Barnes dines at The Golden Pheasant, Etton, tel 01733 252387 www. goldenpheasantetton.com
Read more about The Golden Pheasant first anniversary HERE