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|Address:||Culmstock, Cullompton, Devon EX15 3JJ|
|Price: £25.00||Wine: £11.00||Champagne: £25.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-2pm Mon-Sat 7-9pm|
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
This is a slightly scruffy rambling pub with lots of smallish rooms filled with an eclectic mix of stuff and locals. We had made a significant detour to eat here (Friday lunchtime 21 May 2010) encouraged by the glowing reports in the Good Pub Guide but were very disappointed by the quality of the food. We both chose fish: Turbot and Monkfish at £16 each, both of which were overcooked. The Monkfish came with a red pepper and saffron sauce, which I expected to be cream based, but instead it was rather like, and tasted like, a thinish ketchup, served separately in a little dish. The Monkfish still had its membrane attached which was cooked until crisp and while not unpleasant I feel it's a lazy way to treat this usually delicious fish. The accompanying vegetables were pedestrian – purple sprouting broccoli, red cabbage and a few thin asparagus served plain, so the whole dish was rather dry, as was my husband's Turbot. The ‘new’ potatoes were unappetizing with very thick skins and lots of black bits/eyes (I like potato skins but I do like them cleaned first). The tapas starter was poor (£12 shared), consisting of a couple of slices of basic chorizo and salami, a couple of slices of flabby tortilla, some odd asparagus pickle and a couple of not very generously filled fishy tarts; the green and black olives were OK. We went without a pudding as half the list was unavailable although we had arrived early. Service was slow and elusive despite not very many people there and more flies than I feel comfortable with. The staff were pleasant enough but their insistance on not taking ANY plastic whatsoever is a bit off-putting; the Good Pub Guide had mentioned this but we had forgotten by the time we'd arrived so, without a cheque book, we had to be careful with our choices. Menu pricing on the chalkboard not very clear – everything in round pounds, i.e. 7/11 denoting small size at £7 and large plate at £11 or 12/16/24 for small, medium and large plates in the case of the Tapas. The lack of any printed menus was an irritant as everyone had to crowd into a small space to make their choice from a rather difficult to read board. On the plus side, it had some interesting wines by the glass and it is very dog friendly, also there's the bonus of a pleasant footpath across the road. All in all though not anything to write home about. We are really surprised this has been voted Devon dining pub of the year and whilst we accept all chefs have their off days we certainly wouldn't want to go back.