We ordered bread with butter and olive oil. The bread and butter were good but the olive oil, which on first taste promised to be delicious, left a bitter, acrid after taste that was really unpleasant.
Now I would normally list all the starters but there were 6 of us so I can’t really do justice to each one but I will talk about 2:
- Organic Salmon & Cod Fishcake with Crab Mayonnaise, Deep Fried Ortiz Anchovies and Lemon
- Pan Fried Diver Caught Scallops & Crispy Breadcrumbed Gloucester Old Spot Pork Belly & Black Pudding with Apple & Mustard Sauce and Fennel & Dandelion Salad £5 Supplement
I had the scallops which were very very good, sweet and smooth but weirdly appeared to have been cut into rectangles to match the shape of the pork belly (?) This looked like slices of terrine and the black pudding was running through it like seams in a coal mine. The portion was huge! In all honesty I would have preferred the black pudding served separately – the seams running through the pork belly were very thin and so they were lost in the über savouriness of the pork. this publicly. UndoHe had the fishcake, which he said was good but could have done with being a little more crispy on the outside.
Rib of Herefordshire Beef with Yorkshire Pudding, Roast Potatoes,
Seasonal Local Organic Vegetables and Gravy
- Deep Fried Cod in Beer Batter with Triple Cooked Chips, Lemon and Tartar Sauce
I had the beef and lovely and beautifully cooked it was too with the
biggest best Yorkshire pudding I have seen in
a long time. One of the children with us who ordered it had a huge grin on his
face from the moment it appeared from the kitchen. Roast potatoes were good and
cooked in goose fat (mmm…) so a real treat. The veg was a little disappointing,
all boiled, with kale that had enough salt to sink a battleship.
He had the cod which was apparently very good indeed with a crispy, flavourful batter.
- Vanilla Panna Cotta with Fresh Strawberries
This was the element of the meal that let The Hardwick down for me last time and I’m afraid the experience wasn’t much better this time. Despite having a small army of people there, trying to get hold of someone to take a drink order was hard work. We also had to ask several times for the bill (after a 25+ minute wait) despite being the last people there. When I have to explain what a double espresso is I also have to raise an eyebrow. I know you won’t all agree, but I would much more readily forgive the couple of minor issues with the food if the dining experience was a bit more friendly and competent. Having spoken to a few other people it seems that I am not the only one to think so.
A good menu that should have an option to satisfy everyone. It was a real pleasure to be able to eat somewhere of that quality and see children being equally well catered for. However in my opinion the service lets the kitchen down.
Will I be back for a third time? Hmmm…
The Hardwick is a restaurant in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. Stephen Terry is the head chef.http://www.thehardwick.co.uk/index.php/restaurant