Thursday, 27 June 2013

Restaurant Review - The Thatch

Location: 29-30 Upper High Street, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3EZ, UK
Oxford Restaurant Reviews FoodieOnTour

Just as we were on our way to Thame Carnival & Fete last weekend, the sky grew dark and rain began to threaten. Stupidly assuming coats are unrequired mid-June, not all of us had brought one... which basically left two options:
  1. Suck it up, braving the rubbish weather
  2. Ditch the Carnival in favour of a warm, cosy pub
Come on... do you even need to ask? PUB! (Sorry Carnival)

MrF and I had visited The Thatch once before, two or three years ago, for an enjoyable dinner with friends; so we figured that would be a safe bet. Joined by MrF's Brother and his family for the weekend, I called ahead to ensure there was a table for six available and off we went in our new direction.

The Thatch is an attractive looking pub, all old and crooked looking from the front, with wooden beans and namesake thatched roof; the interior matches well, with exposed beams, pretty flowers on the tables, a mishmash of wooden and upholstered chairs, wooden floors and period colours.

Oxford Restaurant Reviews FoodieOnTour

Grabbing our table by a front window, we were all pretty damn hungry, so immediately set to work on the menus. S (thinking he may still get some BBQ food from the fete later) ordered a Small Superfood Salad (£7.75 - Smoked Trout, Green Beans, Broccoli, Mooli with Sesame Seeds and “Mays & Green” Oriental Dressing), K chose the Scottish Salmon Fishcakes (£11.75), C the Maple-cured Free-range Gammon Rib-eye (£11.50), while MrF and I opted to try "The Favourites Deli Board" (£12.50 - Barbecue Pork Loin, Parmesan & Polenta Chips, Laverstoke Mozzarella & Heritage Tomato, Marinated Olives, Tomato Chutney, Summer Slaw & Warm Pitta), ordering one each.

We had plenty to keep us occupied while our lunch was being prepared, with the boys discussing the route for their upcoming local triathlon and MiniF scoffing his packed lunch; so our food seemed to arrive in no time.

Oxford Restaurant Reviews FoodieOnTour

C's Gammon Rib-eye looked fab - big and chunky with a good singe mark from the griddle pan, served up with chips and a poached egg... cue food envy looks from S, whose little salad didn't quite cut it by comparison. K's Fishcakes meanwhile were looking pretty tasty, made with Scottish Salmon, Spring Onion and Dill, served with Spinach and a Lemon Butter Sauce. Unfortunately, MrF and I picked the short straw, with the Deli Boards looking somewhat minimal, especially considering their hefty price tags of £12.50 each.

Billed as including "Barbecue Pork Loin", we were extremely disappointed to find that this referred to a couple of wafer thin slivers of ham (barely enough to fill a sandwich); the Parmesan & Polenta Chips were tasty but totalled a minuscule number of four; the Summer Slaw was fine, but no wow factor; and the Warm Pitta far too dry and brittle to compliment the other items. The entire dish was a mishmash of items that just didn't gel. After trying out numerous combinations to find one that worked, the only one I found was Mozzarella + Polenta Chips + some Tomato Chutney... and that didn't stretch far with 4 chips and 2 slices of Mozzarella! 

Oxford Restaurant Reviews FoodieOnTour

Fair enough that they advertise the Grazing Boards as "Great to share as a starter or as a snack with drinks", but £12.50? Come on guys - at least provide a bit more meat and some nicer bread for that price. When going for a nice spot of lunch there's nothing worse than being completely gutted with your food choice, so we were pretty happy to leave once everyone had finished.

As a member of Peach Pubs and sister to The Fishes in Botley (their menus are not exactly the same but share a number of dishes), I'm sure they do some fantastic food... and I do like the venue... I just wasn't a fan of my dish; so left feeling somewhat disappointed and, well, still rather hungry.

Overall score: 7/10

The Thatch
29-30 Lower High Street
Twitter: @ThatchThame
Facebook: @thatchthame
Phone: 01844 214 340

The Thatch on Urbanspoon

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