Sunday, July 03, 2005

Pandora's Box

Pandora Inn
Originally uploaded by

Being a slightly late write up of a trip made last weekend to the Pandora Inn.

This is a picture-esky pub on Restronquet Creek, swarming with yachters and labradors. It's a fine setting and a quaint building, with low-beamed ceilings and one of the finest suites of loos (once you eventually track them down) I've seen for a while - each cubicle being larger than some offices I've worked in.

However, as an eating destination it leaves something to be desired - the prices are way too high for general bar-snackery, while for fine-dining, the food and service isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Ordering sea-bass on spinach risotto, I was presented with bream on mashed potato. As the waitress came back I queried if this was, in fact, the sea-bass (my fish recognition skills perhaps not being what they should be). Yes, came the reply.
"Only, it's supposed to be on risotto", I attempted, somewhat lamey.
"Oh, what is it on then?"
"Mash. Er, and you just said it was bream."

This was the point at which my plate was whisked away into the shadows, leaving me wondering forlornly whether I should have kept my mouth shut in the interests of getting dinner, and my companions looked longingly at their own plates*. I urged them to make a start, having no idea how long it would take for my plate to reappear, and taking the opportunity to pilfer some of their chips**.

Eventually, my plate reappeared, now complete with the spinach risotto as requested. I like a good risotto. This, however, wasn't it. I don't know if they'd rushed it through to get it back to me or, as I suspect, warmed a bit up from earlier, but the first forkful lifted half the portion up in one clump. It did indeed have spinach, in long stringy coagulations, but the rest of the risotto tasted merely of warm rice.

The fish (and I still think it was the bream) was very nice though, and it came with green beans and drizzlings of various oils. I was hungry by this point, and cleaned my plate, so I suppose I can't really complain. No, wait, you're right, of course I can.

* The two orders of steak in ciabatta were deemed acceptable but cold, while the cod in beer batter with chips and crushed peas was said to be jolly nice.

** The chips were fantastic, crisp, hot and fluffy, and if I go back at all it will be for a pint and a bowl of chips by the river.

Image (c)


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