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Village Food & Drink

Brewing up great cuisine

Posted on June 29 2014 at 2:51:33 0 comments


Sally Oldaker finds out if the food lives up to the beer at the Coach & Horses.

It had been a while since I visited the Coach & Horses for anything other than beer, so I was keen to see what the restaurant was like these days – and happily for our group of three, it still offers a friendly atmosphere and a great choice of home-cooked food.

In addition to the main menu there was a selection of weekly specials, and we investigated these while sampling some of the ales from the pub’s own Weatheroak Hill Brewery.

Icknield Pale Ale, as always, was smooth and easy-drinking with a hint of citrus, while King of the Hill was darker with a bitter, hoppy flavour.

So the beer was on form; what of the food? Narrowing down the choices proved tricky – tempting starters included a sausage and bacon Scotch egg, Greek salad with tzatziki, and salmon, dill and mozzarella fishcakes.

In the end I went for duck salad with hoisin and sesame seeds (£5.50) from the specials board. Attractively presented, this was a very refreshing dish with plenty of crisp leaves and a tangy kick to the shredded duck.

My dad’s choice of portobello mushroom topped with bacon and Stilton (£5.50) was also a success, with large succulent mushrooms made even tastier by the tasty topping.

My mum didn’t want a big starter so she opted for the assortment of bread and oils with homemade chutneys (£3.95) – however, it turned out to be rather plentiful, so we helped her out.

The variety of different breads and delicious, unusual chutneys (sticky red onion and sweet mixed fruit) made this a fantastic starter, although one that really needs to be shared!

The main courses sounded equally good, including crispy belly pork, slow roasted lamb shank and roasted tomato and pepper tagliatelle, but I decided to try the 12oz rump steak (£14.50).

The meat was delivered well-done as requested, still juicy inside but with a lovely chargrilled exterior,  and came with a roasted tomato, pan-fried mushrooms and peas, plus some really excellent onion rings and chips.

After a tempting description by our super-efficient waiter, Mum picked the grilled cod with chunky rarebit, new potatoes and basil oil (£12.95) from the specials.

The rarebit, a topping of melty cheese, pepper and tomatoes, was the perfect complement for the meaty slice of fish and summery potatoes.

Dad chose the blade of beef bourguignon (£12.50), having enjoyed it here before, and it was just as good as he remembered.

Served with baby button onions, mushrooms, bacon, red wine jus and horseradish mash, the dish was gigantic and he couldn’t quite finish it despite his best efforts – especially as a dish of mixed vegetables also arrived for the two of them to share.

Although there were several mouth-watering desserts on offer – among them baked Alaska, lemon tart and Bailey’s crème brûlée – none of us could fit much more in, so we all went for sorbet as a lighter option.

Both the lemon and the strawberry-raspberry flavours were very refreshing and studded with real fruit pieces.

We all concluded that The Coach is just as good at food as it is at beer, and would be more than happy to revisit the relaxed restaurant as well as the bar!

The Coach & Horses Inn, Weatheroak Hill, Alvechurch B48 7EA  
Tel: 01564 823386

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