Had some spare time during the weekend and decided to go on a small excursion. Have been exploring the small villages and towns where I live and this week, the plan was to checkout Marlow then eventually ending up in Bray for lunch. The weather being pissy, did not managed to explore much of Marlow after all but did managed to have a constitutional walk along the river at Henley.
Wanted to make lunch reservations at The Hinds Head but they were fully booked! Noticed there is a new addition to Heston’s empire just down the road from The Hinds Head so decided to book a table there instead. According to Wikipedia and the pub’s site, Heston bought The Crown at Bray in 2010 and I think it makes sense. Imagine if I am the proprietor of The Crown at Bray, how on earth am I suppose to compete with Heston? As for Heston, another joint in the village serves to cater to the spillage from The Fat Duck and The Hinds Head which was precisely my situation.
The pub itself is small, dark and slightly claustrophobic with the low dark beams. Luckily, we were seated by the window and was bless with some sunlight.
I was toying between the Roast Chicken Breast with Confit Chicken Leg or the Fish and Chip. But £18 for chicken? I pumped for the fish while Tweet being his usual boring self went with the Longhorn Cattle Burger, with cheese of cos! The Fish and Chip was £14.75 while the burger was £12.50. Pretty steep I think but it’s Heston!
So was the food worth the price and Heston hype? Let’s start with Tweet’s burger. The burger patty was nice and thick, cooked to a nice medium and juicy with a strong chargrilled, smoky flavour. The brioche bun it was served in was well toasted and not the sweet kind which is a good thing. On the menu, the burger was served with chips and it turned out to be the french fries kind. Nice and crunchy but not as nice as the triple cooked chips that came with the Fish and Chips.
One to my choice. The fish had a nice light batter, perhaps slightly too oily but was crispy and tasty. The fish itself was moist and flaky, not sure what fish it is though, don’t think it’s cod? The minted crushed peas was refreshing but I could do with a bigger portion. The homemade tartar sauce went very nicely with the fish. The star of the dish was the triple cooked chips! They were so good that the Tweet kept swapping his french fries chips for my version.
As you can see from the total bill, it was not a cheap lunch. During the meal, the Tweet and I discussed the premium one has to pay to get good food. My opinion is that I don’t mind paying slightly more for well cooked food but somehow, I feel that the quantum of improvement on taste most times does not justify the price premium you have to pay. Don’t remember whether the Tweet concurred, but then again, he eats to live while I live to eat!
The Crown at Bray
Berkshire SL6 2YE