A Head’s up on a great place to eat à la carte

Food fit for a Queen (if she avoids the roast!)

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Eating Out - Brad Barnes brad.barnes@jpress.co.uk Follow me on twit­ter @PTbrad­barnes

Hard to be­lieve it is more than two years since my last visit to the Queens Head at Nass­ing­ton, par­tic­u­larly given the stun­ning lunch I en­joyed last time out.

There have been quite a few changes in that time - new head chefs in the kitchen and the place was sold ear­lier this year to the com­pany run­ning the venue.

One thing that has re­mained the same, how­ever, is the very ap­petis­ing a la carte menu and the stan­dard of the food served up.

I do love the set­ting - the river­side gar­den is fab­u­lous and the restau­rant has a cer­tain old­e­worlde rus­tic charm you ex­pect from a vil­lage pub.

The restau­rant boasts two AA Rosettes, some­thing it has held on to for a cou­ple of years now. There are not many of those around and they don’t give them out lightly, so keep­ing stan­dards high is re­flected in the menu and the pre­sen­ta­tion of the food.

Our starters and my main course, for in­stance, were per­fect ex­am­ples.

Look­ing good is only part of the deal, of course, but they cer­tainly de­liv­ered on taste .

First up for me were the pork belly cro­quettes (£5.50). The bread­crumb coat­ing packed a real crunch and just fried taste, while the meat in­side was still moist and de­li­cious. It came atop a lit­tle kohl rabbi coleslaw, drops of sweet and fruity goose­berry rel­ish with a new take on black­pud­ding.

Look­ing equally as good across the ta­ble was the black trea­cle cured salmon (not cheap at £8). Again, big flavours here with dill crisps sit­ting proudly on top and ac­com­pa­nied by strips of fresh cu­cum­ber and a lime puree.

The same de­gree of care and fi­nesse in pre­sen­ta­tion was ev­i­dent in the fault­less Lin­colnshire duck breast (£16) main course. The breast was cooked per­fectly, the con­fit leg and black­berry bon bon was crunchy, meaty, fruity all at the same time, and if only all veg­eta­bles were as good as the stem broc­coli. And let’s not for­get the sweet potato dumplings which were di­vine .

But, and there is al­ways a but, given all that, the main course Sun­day roast (£12.50) looked so out of place.

Now I will be the first to ad­mit that pre­sen­ta­tion is never go­ing to score high with a roast din­ner, but let’s just say I have seen it done bet­ter.

It didn’t help that it was lath­ered in gravy and the York­shire pud­ding was in parts burnt to the colour of cin­ders. But the pota­toes looked grey and un­ap­petis­ing, and the beef - while beau­ti­fully cooked and very tasty - was a bit too fatty. And while the side plate of veg looked the part, it was just so un­nec­es­sar­ily salty.

A great venue and menu, and the ser­vice ex­cel­lent, but for me it was just a shame about the roast din­ner.

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