When the standout dish on the new month-long Seafood Festival menu wasn’t available at 5pm on a quiet Saturday afternoon, I feared the worst.
I needn’t have worried, because despite that setback (the prospect of Asian-style tuna was what took us there) the Fox and Hounds at Longthorpe exceeded expectations.
It’s an old village pub that keeps reinventing itself (it has had a makeover, but you wouldn’t know it). It is good on the eye and nicely set out.
I have visited many times, and found it a bit hit and miss.
Saturday though was a definite hit.
In addition to the Seafood Festival menu (two starters, six mains) the regular menu has been updated too - and there was plenty on there to catch the eye.
My starter combined two of my current favourites -scallops and pork - not belly on this occasion but pulled.
One word: delicious. The scallops were nice and soft, with that little hint of flavour from the searing, and the pulled pork lived up the description of “sticky barbecue” with that beautiful smokey taste.
The roasted red pepper was nice and juicy, I love the peppery taste of rocket anyway and the little balsamic reduction was mopped with enthusiasm.
Donna chose the prawn, mango and avocado tian - albeit somewhat deconstructed - a real fruity salsa with a meaty, wild Patagonian king prawn and an appetizing drizzle of sweet tomato and herb dressing
Donna followed that up with the Asian-style rare beef salad - nice tender strips of beef on a refreshing salad of baby gem lettuce with cherry tomatoes, radish and coriander.
The toasted cashews in the dressing were a bit lacking, though the Vietnamese-style sweet chili sauce was decent enough.
Having seen a photo on the website I was more than intrigued by the curry offering - not least the presentation.
It came on a wooden board - a tiffin stacker of chicken tikka makhani curry, black lentil dhal and yellow rice.
The curry was excellent - plenty of succulent chunks of chicken breast in a spicy but not too hot sauce.
I enjoyed the dhal, too - lots of tender lentils in a really thick and tasty sauce. The rice was a little dry, which mattered not once it was soaked in the curry and dhal, of course.
I enjoyed the garlic and coriander glazed naan - not too doughy and a little crisp around the edges - and the dips- fresh, tangy mango and a cooling raita were a treat.
To be honest, I would have been happy had I been served this in any of the curry houses I have visited recently.
It’s not cheap but overall the service was good, the food surprisingly so and nice to see a venue back on form.
Brad’s rating: 8
Venue: Fox and Hounds, Longthorpe, Peterborough, tel 01733 364126
SPICED BREADED CHICKEN£4.59
Chicken breast coated in a spiced crispy crumb, served with a cooling garlic & rosemary mayonnaise dip
DEVILLED WHITEBAIT £4.79
Deep-fried in a spicy coating, served with a refreshing tartare sauce dip
CAPRESE AVOCADO SALAD £4.49
A light, Italian-inspired rustic salad of torn mozzarella, fresh basil, avocado and cherry tomatoes. Dressed with pesto and a balsamic reduction
STILTON & PEPPERCORN MUSHROOMS (V) £4.59
Sautéed button mushrooms on a garlic toasted muffin with a flavoursome Stilton & peppercorn sauce. Topped with crumbled Stilton
ASIAN DUCK STIR FRY £12.99
Asian-spiced shredded duck, stir-fried with hoisin sauce, egg noodles, and a fusion of pineapple and vegetables. Finished with a sprinkling of sesame seeds
RIB OF BEEF AND PULLED PORK £14.49
Both the beef and pulled pork are coated in speciality barbecue & ale sauce and served with sweet potato fries and garlic & herb-glazed corn on the cob
MEDITERRANEAN SPICED COD LOIN £9.99
Cod loin marinated in an aromatic Mediterranean spice blend, served on roasted new potatoes and roasted red onion.