Mr M and I managed to escape for a few hours earlier this week to go for a grown up dinner at The Fox in Chetwynd Aston, near Newport. The Fox has been open for many years, provided good beer and fine ales to the people of Newport and beyond, and recently closed for a gentle redecoration (so gentle that we couldn’t see any difference!).
The menu at The Fox has always been extensive, with a handful of traditional meals such as fish and chips or sausages and mash remaining through thick and thin, but with a good number of “guest appearances” from more adventurous dishes, such as crispy, spiced chicken wings served with Korean kimchi salad, or the wild boar scotch egg, alongside light bites, sandwiches, and the childrens meals. It always amazes me that a restaurant can offer so much choice and maintain a good standard in everything they produce, but The Fox (usually) manages it. That being said, the past few times we have visited we felt the food to be “ok”, but not much better, so hopefully the break for redecoration has allowed the chef time to recharge their batteries!
On arrival, we were pointed towards a cosy table for two, tucked away in the corner of the dining area, perfect for two weary parents wanting to have a few quiet hours catching up with each other. A pint of ale and a glass of fizz (a mid week treat) were the perfect companions for perusing the menu.
For starters Mr Mammy ordered the tomato and red pepper soup, served with crusty bread, warming, delicious and just what he needed after a couple of days away with work surviving on fast food and whatever the hotel had to offer in terms of food! The bowl was wiped clean and a smile had returned to his face.
I plumped for the wild boar scotch egg, served with pickled vegetable salad and mustard dressing. The scotch egg was delicious, the meat was still juicy and perfectly seasoned, and the yolk was runny (hurrah!). The pickled vegetable salad and mustard dressing combined to make the best piccalilli I have ever eaten, crunchy, zingy, and full of flavour, it complimented the egg perfectly. My only not really negative comment is that it was a BIG portion, and it left me slightly worried how I would fit it my main course!
I needn’t have worried, as my main was delicious… We both chose the roast breast of chicken, with a smoked bacon potato cake, sweetcorn puree and a red wine jus. The chicken was juicy and well-seasoned, the potato cake was laced with generously sized bacon lardons, the sweetcorn puree was light and flavoursome, and the sauce brought everything on the plate together with a savoury deliciousness I could only hope to recreate at home! The meals came served with roasted carrots and steamed tenderstem broccoli, both cooked perfectly, it was the best roast chicken dinner I have ever eaten, which now means I can never cook it at home again, obviously…
After all my worries about being able to eat a starter and main, we decided to order dessert – just for research purposes, obviously… Now, I do like to try and swap out something each time I eat out, just to gauge how happy a place is to accommodate their customers, and I am always polite about this, but when we asked to switch the orange sorbet served alongside the rhubarb bakewell tart for vanilla ice-cream we weren’t quite expecting the eye-rolling, huffing and puffing reaction we got from our waitress, maybe she was having a bad night? Nevertheless, our pudding arrived with ice-cream, the bakewell tart was served piping hot with a jammy, delicious layer of rhubarb under the frangipane, and was accompanied by ginger poached rhubarb strips. We made quick work of that one, fighting over who got the most of the soft, delicious poached rhubarb (I won).
The bill wasn’t cheap, but we think it was totally worth it. The Fox is back on track again, with most tables booked up on what should have been a quiet Wednesday night, and I would go back there in a heartbeat, if only to try those spicy wings with the kimchi salad….
Service: 8/10 (-2 for the eye rolling!)
Eat here! Love, Mammy x