No reservations, second Marlow installment from Tom Kerridge's Hand and Flowers team serving simple yet powerfully pleasing dishes
My first time to Tom Kerridge’s second instalment to Marlow and I have to say how much I enjoyed this one. The fact that you cannot reserve (giving it a drop in feel) with numerous spaces at the bar for counter-dining, the soft lighting and music with open kitchen within a beautiful pub is an immediately endearing. I have also rarely had so much excitement about a menu as so many will either not make sense to many people or be hard to decrypt which is fine when wanting something with grandeur but actually this was wonderfully refreshing to see dishes that simply sounded so good that you really wanted to try them and that is the actual point is it not n’est-ce pas?
Normally I despise celery but this was done in a creamy and herbed way with truffle and perfect crunchiness of the croutons that it was in fact one of the nicest soups I have ever had and actually registered as one of the dishes of the year, it was that good. The burger was utterly gorgeous in real depth of beefiness and rare to have the meat as the actual hero which, in this case it most certainly was. My sliver of fish made with batter with customary Hand and Flowers ‘tricks up their sleeves’ was very good and although I would have preferred my tartare sauce to not be so chunky (best I have ever had was the warmed tartare sauce served at Nathan Outlaw’s at the Capital Hotel), the chunky chips were served with sauce béarnaise which more than made up for this. The latter is actually an option I have enjoyed for many years but the first place I have actually seen put on its menu – I wonder which place will be the bravest to do that with sauce choron as a possible version of the ultimate combo with chips(?).
Desserts here really were good as well and although personally I would have liked my honeycomb slightly less dark, it was lovely option – banana custard and who on earth is not going to like that(?!). This really was a wonderful meal which I absolutely loved, amongst approachable staff and was very good talking to the head chef afterwards. It was good to learn how Tom Kerridge has essentially dealt with the demand for food with the Hand and Flowers stamp behind it but also allowed his long-standing staff to lead on this venture as they are essentially at the helm of The Coach. Simply cannot recommend this venue enough to try.
Food Grade: 80%
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