There is so much more on this menu to explore that it is definitely worth a visit even without a discount coupon.
We don’t need an excuse to pop into the Bell Tree for food, but a 33% off voucher in the Tele and the promise of a new menu proved too much to resist.
Now under the Pub and Grill banner, this Greene King pub has much to offer. It’s nicely decorated with open fires and comfy seats in a rustic-type layout with the seats all far enough apart and set at opposing angles, that you don’t feel you are having tea with anyone other than those at your table.
The welcome is very pleasant. The staff are friendly and efficient.
At our table we ordered drinks – Bacardi and diet Coke, a pint of Coke (for the driver) and a pint of Innis and Gunn lager – and turned our attention to the menu.
There’s a good selection of food and we opted for starters of prawn cocktail (£5.99), halloumi fries (£5.49) and a mini baked camembert (£5.99).
Mini chickpea koftas and buttermilk chicken wings were among the contenders, as was a char-grilled chicken tortilla.
For mains, my cheese starter son ordered halloumi fajitas (£12.29). He debated over the chicken and steak option (£13.29), which I think I would have plumped for.
My husband and I decided to split the seafood mixed grill (£15.29) and the signature dish of a 10oz ribeye (£15.69). Other steak options are sirloin and rump in various weights and also fillet. You are advised to choose your steak, add a topping – we chose prawns and crispy squid (£2.79) though I was tempted by Jack Daniels burnt ends but I’ve no idea if I’d like them – then add a sauce if desired.
Starters came out quickly and I’d thought the camembert was to be shared, though my companions snaffled their own dishes. Well, more fool them – and more full me! Served with several pieces of char-grilled sourdough bread, a caramelised red onion chutney and char-grilled peppers, it was heavenly.
The other dishes were good too, though the “fries” were more slices of crispy halloumi than chip-shaped, and served with salad and a spicy Tabasco mayonnaise. Prawn cocktail speaks for itself and came with bread and butter.
The main courses were presented very well.
The seafood grill had grilled cod loin, salmon and sea bass fillet and butterfly king prawns with tomatoes on the vine (we’d asked them to hold the watercress) and seasoned fries.
My steak had the same accompaniments with a couple of large slices of breaded mushrooms. It was cooked to medium-rare perfection and I regretted the prior “sharing” agreement we had made. There were three prawns and four crispy squid pieces, all very nice.
From the fish plate I found the cod (not my favourite fish) was lacking on the flavour front. The sea bass made up for it, but my half was quite small. The salmon and prawns were good but overall we felt the fish dish needed a wee sauce of some sort.
Across the table cheese boy was wishing he’d ordered meat as he was halloumied out – nothing to do with the preparation of the food. The fajitas came on a sizzling platter – pan fried peppers and red onion served with four small tortillas, grated cheese, jalapenos, sour cream, guacamole and salsa.
He had to remove the top of the grated cheese pile as it was too hard to eat. He still had some left at the end though, so there was obviously enough. One other observation (though not peculiar to this restaurant) is there is almost always too much filling for the tiny tortillas. He made good inroads.
The menfolk decided to have a cookie dough cheesecake (£5.49) and sticky toffee pudding (£5.49) – I had a bit of each, well it would be rude not to try.
The cheesecake, served with ice cream, was quite solid and not to my taste, though 20p is donated to Macmillan Cancer Support so it has a feelgood factor. The sticky toffee and bourbon pudding came with custard and was moist and tasty.