Restaurant review: The Grosvenor, CavershamBy Sarah Hamilton
November 09, 2011
‘Here's your glass of port, Sir, and Jim said you can keep the bottle and take the rest home.”
Such generosity might not be the norm at The Grosvenor in Caversham, but this is certainly the sort of warm welcome and good service you can expect at this Ember Inns pub/restaurant.
The treat was proferred to my husband by the merrily-titled manager Jim Carey (not that one, obviously) who is a mere 27 years old and in charge of this revamped eatery.
It markets itself as a gastro-pub, but it’s more what I would call an older, family-friendly pub/restaurant serving square meals with bells on rather than anything pretentious and cheffy.
When we visited it had a mix of young lads having an evening pint, middle-aged golfing sorts, older couples and the odd councillor playing on the fruit machines.
I must say the pub side of the venue feels more homely and buzzy, while the restaurant tables extending quite a way into the other end feels a bit separate and isolated as they are quite spread out.
It took us longer than usual to decide what to have as everything had its own attraction, sounding so comforting on a windy autumn evening and we had to stall the waitress a couple of times as we agonised over what to have.
For starters we decided to have the best of several worlds with their sharing farmhouse board (£9.95).
This had deep fried almond crumbed Somerset brie with apple salad and redcurrant and juniper jelly, smoked chicken liver pate with toasts and beer battered mushrooms with smoked paprika mayo.
Best for me was the melting brie, while hubby most enjoyed the pate.
Mains included burgers – including a tasty-sounding veg one of chickpea, broad bean and pea topped with grilled peppers – gammon steak, pork stuffed with pear, chicken, ham and leek pie, smoked haddock kedgeree fishcakes, and chargrilled salmon with minted pea hollandaise.
Husband opted for one of the day’s specials, the duck confit and cassoulet (£11.95), which was served on a green lentil, tomato and butterbean cassoulet.
He thought it tasted good and was a filling dish. It was one of several specials which had won awards at various pub and catering competitions. Others included stuffed butternut squash, calf’s liver, bacon and crispy onions with dauphinoise potatoes, and smoked haddock and pea risotto.
I went for a mixed grill (£10.50) which included a 4oz rump steak, chicken breast, gammon steak, pork, apple and wild boar sausage with chips, grilled tomato, flat mushroom, beer battered onion rings, garden peas and parsley butter.
I went for an additional red wine, shallot and bacon sauce to pour over it (£1.75), which was delicious.
Unfortunately the steak was tough and fatty so very little of it was eaten, but the rest was okay.
Deserts were next and wonderfully tempting – banoffee pie, baked vanilla cheesecake and chocolate fondant pudding with orange marmalade were among them.
We went for apple, pear and sultana shortbread crumble with custard (£3.75), which was lovely, and the cheeseboard (£4.95) of Somerset brie, Colliers cheddar, crackers and black grapes, which Husband delighted in scoffing.
Food at The Grosvenor is really good value.
It offers a fixed priced menu Monday to Saturday for two or three courses at £6.95 and £8.95 respectively, for the daytime menu and £9.95 and £11.95 respectively, for the evening menu.
There’s also a fixed Sunday menu which includes roasts with all the trimmings, at the same prices as the fixed evening deal.
It also offers light lunches and sandwiches and a menu for younger palates and has a good selection of ales and wines.
Despite being a chain pub/restaurant, manager Jim is trying to make The Grosvenor part of the community with golf tournaments and quiz nights.
- Telephone: 0118 9274643
- Website: www.emberpubanddining.co.uk/thegrosvenorcaversham