A quickie on the Halfway Bistro A4

This is a quickie post as I am doing a full interview with the Halfway Bistro in a couple of weeks. You can find this lovely pub on the A4 between Newbury and Hungerford and it is a great place to eat. The restaurant is nicely decorated with a roaring log fire in the winter and very amenable staff. They offer ‘buckets’ which I haven’t tried and these include chicken or vegetables in tempura batter or whitebait or crispy potato skins. Starters include soup of the day (I think todays was red pepper), also grilled honey and pepper goats cheese salad, pressed chicken terrine with asparagus and mushrooms. Very tempting (but I had no time for starters, damn) were pan seared scallops with chorizo sausage, black pudding and parsnip purée. They had smoked salmon roulade with Thai cream centre or crispy asparagus with Parma ham and hollandaise or tomato and mozzarella salad with avocado and pesto.

spicy fish stew with butter poached pepper sauce, mixed fish, prawns and mussels in aromatic sauce with warm baguette
spicy fish stew with butter poached pepper sauce, mixed fish, prawns and mussels in aromatic sauce with warm baguette

The fish stew was a delight, full of flavour with 2 crayfish, 2 giant prawns and lots of prawns and mussels in a very tasty sauce that made me glad that I had the bread there to dip into it.

Mains included 24 hour roasted lamb shank, thyme and garlic grain, roasted honey and butter chantenay carrots and parsnips glazed with rich jus. There was also oven finished chicken supreme glazed with honey stuffed with butter roasted wild mushrooms, smoked mash potatoes and purées, an interesting dish of duo of pork, milk roasted pork belly and cheek croquettes with apple purée and sautéed greens and smoked mash, very tempting. There was also an assortment of classic pub dishes including haddock, toad in the hole burger and steaks. I do like having some choices on the menu that are familiar and a sort of comfort food. I try to always choose something I wouldn’t normally have but occasionally I give in to what I really fancy and I like to have that choice. It feels like a mistake when a pub/restaurant knock off every familiar dish even if you weren’t going to choose it.

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Thai green prawn curry with rice, poppadoms, mango chutney and raita.

I had a delightful dining companion, the wine was excellent, Rickety Bridge and I was given a quick lesson on wine tasting which was useful. I did not pay for this meal and am looking forward to going back to record for Kennet Radio.

Finally please will someone buy me a Kamodo barbecue, you will be fed delicious food for ever if you do so!

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