Venue:- The Bull Inn @ Aborfield Cross
Telephone:- 01189 762244
This restaurant/pub can be found right on the roundabout at Aborfield Cross where the A327 the B3030 the B3348 and the A327 all meet – please be careful if you are coming in from Wokingham via Molly Millar Lane as you pass another ‘Bull Inn’ - just keep going until you reach Aborfield. I am sure there in nowt wrong with the ‘other’ Bull but this review is not about them!
The Bull has a nice large car park and a large outdoor seating area, but we headed inside to be greeted at the door and shown to our table. Now I have said this before – is it a pub with a restaurant or a restaurant that serves beer or even a pub pretending to be a restaurant, well I feel this is predominantly a restaurant that has a bar. The interior is clean and bright with a mix of seating options around a central bar area – the place was crowded when we went and booking is essential for a weekend, probably during the week as well.
We started with a couple of drinks from the bar, guinness , white wine, orange juice and a pint of local real ale for me – the guest ale – at £3.60 a pint! A bit steep that. The restaurant caters well for the caveman amongst us as well as vegetarian and Coeliac choices.
On to the food. Starters ranged from about £4.50 to £8.95) Starters consisted of a warm chicken Caesar salad (£4.95), Whitebait (£4.95), smoked Salmon (£6.50) and Tricolore salad (£5.50) – portions good for starters, not too much and not too little all were given the thumbs up.
Main courses ranged from around £8.50 to £18.95. For mains we has the lamb shank(£13.95), served with seasonal veg and sauteed potatoes, Steak and Ale pie (£11.50) served with mash and veg, seabass (£11.95) again with sautéed and veggies and finally Scampi with sauteed and side salad. All meals were declared excellent, the lamb shank was just too large to be finished, the seabass cooked to perfection with a lovely crispy skin and succulent flesh beneath. The veggies were plentiful and locally sourced as in fact are most menu items – bet my scampi wasn’t local though. The sautéed potatoes were lovely and all meals eaten. All was washed down with a bottle of Malbec at £14.80 – reasonable price for a drinkable wine.
Little bit of room left to try the puds … Chocolate profiteroles with chantilly cream – two large open choux buns crammed full of cream with chocolate on the top, I believe ‘wow!’ was the expletive used before clearing the plate. I settled for ice cream (coconut) and sorbet (mango) as a palate cleanser really. Normal filter coffee was had plus a pot of tea and I had a couple of double espressos and at £2.00 a go I thought the price reasonable and the coffee quite dark and intense, my personal taste is for a little stronger. The coffee was bottomless again at £2.00 a throw was good value.
Total cost of meal with a tip was £124.00 for four people. This is an excellent restaurant/pub with very attentive friendly staff, the meal was unhurried yet timely and we all thoroughly enjoyed out visit – we will return.