Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Restaurant Review: The Red Lion, Britwell Salome, Oxfordshire

Pig mixed grill
For the last few years I always had the next fine diner I wanted to try mapped out in my mind. It wasn't until Becks brought up Michelin stars back in January that I realised I didn't have a fine diner on my current wish list. As I flicked through the latest Michelin guide nowhere (which doesn't have an insanely long waiting list) particularly inspired. Then the idea struck me to have a smart meal during our weekend away in Oxfordshire. There isn't anywhere Michelin starred in the immediate vicinity of my parents house, but the Red Lion at Britwell Salome got a mention in the guide this year so I thought we'd check it out with my school friend Will.
Langoustine two ways
I been to the Red Lion, in its previous the Goose, back in 2005 to celebrate mum, dad, Ruth and grandma's birthdays which mass together in August. Has it really been so long since my last visit?

We were seated in the back dining room of the busy restaurant and settled in to look at the menus. The three of us were horrendously indecisive and we sent the waiters / waitresses away a couple of times before we were ready to order. I went for the strategy of ordering dishes that no one else was trying.

From specials board I ordered the langoustine two ways. The bisque had a deep and wonderful flavour, while the potato, claw meat and homemade mayonnaise looked the picture, but I didn't taste much langoustine in the mix which was a shame.
Melted Brèzain
Becks ordered the melted Brèzain with celeriac & mustard and cornichons. The dish looked the picture. I had a small taste of the melted Brèzain which tasted similar to raclette that I fondly remember ski holidays in France and who doesn't like a cornichon?

I almost didn't order the guinea fowl, homemade black pudding and dauphinoise as I was feeling peckish and mistakenly thought the guinea fowl was a small bird. Luckily it didn't put me off ordering the dish and I discovered the fowl was easily the same size as a duck leg.

The homemade black pudding was excellent, subtler and not as iron rich as some of the commercial black puddings I've eaten before.
Guinea fowl
Becks ordered the mutton shoulder wrapped in filo and served with couscous. Visually I didn't think it looked as good as the other dishes of the night. However, that didn't distract from the slowed cooked mutton which was as tender as the lamb shoulders I'd cooked the week before.

Will ordered the pig mixed grill (top photo). Neither Becks nor I got a look in and Will declared it one of the best plates of food he'd ever eaten. High praise.
Mutton shoulder
None of us had space of dessert, but fancying something sweet we ordered a selection of truffles from Tutu Delicious in nearby Wattlington. It turned out to be a good choice, with the salted caramel a particular favourite.

Dinner at The Red Lion surpassed all of our expectations. I was particularly impressed with the consistency of the dishes. At under £40 per head including (not many) drinks and service it was excellent value too.
Truffle selection

The Red Lion
Britwell Salome,
Near Watlington,
Oxfordshire,
OX49 5LG

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