Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Boo in Kent - The Hare
Over the weekend I trekked back to the motherland of Kent and stayed with relatives for a couple of nights. The reason for the trip was to head to a much loved and trusted pub with the girls and have a hearty lunch to combat the big freeze.
The Hare is a Brunning and Price establishment, a brewery with classic English pubs in, somewhat randomly, the South East and the North West exclusively.
The menu consists primarily of classic English dishes like Toad in the Hole, Fish and Chips, Ploughman’s, Ham, Egg and Chips and Sausage and Mash. These had always been perfectly presented with very generous portion sizing meaning that reservations were advisable due to the popularity of the place.
A firm favourite from the menu among our group was always the 4 Cheese Baked Macaroni. This dish was gargantuan in size and earned the nickname ‘the trough’ due to the vessel in which it was served and to it’s guilt inducing nature. Not for the feint hearted it often got the better of us but was a welcome mainstay on the menu.
That said, our eager foursome ventured to Langton Green at 1pm on Saturday and one of us inevitably opted for the trusty old mac and cheese. However, after waiting for more than an hour what arrived was a bowl of pasta (chiocciole, - not macaroni) with barely a hint of sauce and a thick layer of breadcrumbs sprinkled over the top making the whole dish virtually unpalatable because it was so dry. The overwhelming taste was cinnamon, an interesting and wholly unwelcome take on macaroni cheese. Even the trough gone replaced with a regular green bowl. I suppose this is more in keeping with the ‘light bite’ that the Hare’s 4 Baked Macaroni Cheese has always claimed to be however, we all agreed it is a deeply unsatisfying turn of events.
The other dishes selected were Steak and Ale Pie with cauliflower cheese and Slow Roasted Beef with dauphinoise potatoes. More successful but still lacking something and not up to the usual standard to which we had become accustomed when dining here.
With the benefit of hindsight, we might have known that standards have dropped when there were many empty tables where once it would have been impossible to find a space. A shame, possibly a off day….