All reader reviews by mtk

Acorn House

My wife and I dinner there last night and were more than a little disappointed.

The place is nice enough, though it's densely packed and quite noisy.

We started with a smoked mackerel salad with fennel and pickled ginger (me), and something-and-horseradish soup. The salad was very nice, except for the mackerel which was hard and very oily, surprisingly close to pre-cooked stuff you can get at Sainsbury's. The soup was very starchy (not enough stock - it was almost like mashed potato) and apparently "bland" (which might have been alleviated had we had salt and pepper).

Mains of roast pork belly and rack of lamb with herb crust were, respectively, better and worse. The pork was dense and chewy but tasty. The lamb, however, was almost raw. Had I not had to pull it to bits to find this out I would have sent it back to the kitchen for at least another ten minutes. The herb crust was pretty tasty, though.

The front-of-house was efficient, though it liked itself just a bit much. They were attentive and the kitchen was slow enough that they didn't have a lot of plate carrying to do!

As others have noted, it's expensive. A lot of that is doubtless the cost of organic, happy animal flesh, but by the rule of thirds I cannot see how the bit of lamb I was given could have cost them seven quid. The portions were pretty decent, but the mains at about twenty quid still want a side dish each (at another 3-4 quid) to make a meal rather than a bit of meat and some token vegetable.

In light of the above, it's hard not to conclude that those awards it seems to have been winning are for its impeccable social and environmental credentials rather than the food.

For ordinary food at high prices, I'll stick to Wiltons. At least the service there is impeccable and the tables are more than a foot inches apart.

Friday, November 09, 2007
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 6 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 3

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