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Grub Crawl: The Pheasant Inn and Restaurant

18 October 2018

A couple of weeks back it was my dear friend Kirstie's (who you may know as KirstieKins) birthday, and to celebrate we all took a trip to The Pheasant Inn and Restaurant. As a group who normally find ourselves at a TGI Friday, Nandos or for a few of us what has become a regular staple - Red Iron Burger - it was nice surprise to have a new birthday contender thrown into the ring/group chat.

The Pheasant wasn't a place I'd come across before - it's slightly hidden away on a residential street off the main road in Harlington - but one look at the menu and you could tell this was going to be a nice place, and I for one was very excited.

On the outside, The Pheasant appears as a standard, if not maybe a little extra, pub - we walked through a small part of the pub and it looked very nice, and as we took a trip through to the back we found ourselves in a very snazzy restaurant. The waiting area was dressed to the nines, complete with slick modular black sofas and shiny tables, and we were met with a smile and a joke - even though our half of the group were actually 20 minutes late...

I kicked things off with an old favourite - Shepherd's Pie. The last time I had a Shepherd's Pie was a ready meal phoney I'd picked up on the way home from a long day at work, on a Spring day that was more than likely groggy, threatening to rain but not quite raining, still a bit cold but not freezing, but you're still wearing your big coat just to be safe, even though you're definitely sweating a bit - you know the sort've grey sky that you just look up at and think... 'same.' It consisted of approximately 4% filling and what felt like 130% mash, and left a crusty residue and sad puddles of gravy that again you just look at and think... 'same.'

The menu offered a great selection of gastro-gourmet-grub ranging anywhere from 12 to 20 quid, and as we were finally starting to feel the effect of Autumn (or as I like to call it, Pie Season), this felt like the best option - I was after something hearty, with that homemade feel and wasn't feeling ambitious enough to try the sword fish... yet. Kirstie, if you're reading this, I'm sure you'll twist my arm at some point.

It was served with a selection of vegetables, and a personal gravy boat, with everything neatly compartmentalised which was incredibly satisfying to look at. The mash to filling ratio was more of a 25:75 which was much appreciated, and the filling had quite a smoky taste to it, which is something I'd never experienced before. There's not really a lot to say about cooked vegetables - they tasted real, and were definitely cooked, and that's all I need. Overall, a very lovely meal.

 Amidst another impressive list of mouth-watering puddings, or desserts because, you know, we were fancy this evening, I saw two of my favourite words jump out at me - Banoffee and... you guessed it - pie (I told you, it's Pie Season.) I'd like to think I've mastered making a mean Banoffee Pie - sure the toffee I make is never hard enough and doesn't set properly, sure I still can't seem to cut bananas equally or even straight, and sure I never crush my biscuits small enough to make a legit neat crust, but it's so. bloody. tasty. that none of that matters. A disheveled pile of slop that makes you think..- you get it.

One look of this petite, rich beauty (pictured first) though and I was in love. I was happy to bow down in it's honour. In my head, I curtseyed. In my mouth, I salivated. On the outside, I played it cool, don't worry. Again, the ratio between each layer was perfect, and it was served with a glorious, satisfyingly perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream - you know you've got the good stuff when you can actually see the vanilla (though my picture above is not doing it justice.) There were lovely additional little touches, including the icing sugar and chocolate underneath, and the cocoa powder dusted on top of the cream, and overall it just tasted immense.

Birthday Queen Kirstie was also treated to a celebratory dessert, complete with a chocolate swiss roll type cake, whipped cream and strawberries, as well as the obligatory fancy, sometimes waste of good chocolate sauce, but overall joyous 'Happy Birthday' on the plate.

With an impressive list of cocktails, I went with Ye Olde Faithful and had a Mojito. I've said it many times, and will probably say it many more, but it's very easy to get a Mojito wrong. Though a little strong, the mix of lime and mint was spot on, and it all tasted real... you know, none of the fake syrup shit.

Overall, I had a great meal with some great people and would definitely go again.

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