2 January 2020

Restaurant Review: The Old Forge in Otterbourne, Hampshire

Restaurant Review The Old Forge in Otterbourne Hampshire


We were very excited to visit The Old Forge in Otterbourne, Hampshire for their press preview night of the refurbished pub and revamped menu. Otterbourne lies just outside of Winchester and I have visited the area previously to work on client photoshoots as well as review restaurants - it's a lovely quiet village and just a stone throw away from the city.

This is the first time we visited The Old Forge in Otterbourne - it's a cosy and welcoming pub which combines style and tradition. The atmosphere is warm, welcoming; the decor is modern and stylish with quirky elements like industrial lightbulbs and colourful patters on chairs. We were delighted to see a make your own gin bar filled with herbs, spices, fruits and gins to make the perfect glass. I'm more of a wine girl, so I opted for a glass or Merlot - but the gin bar looked a treat for those who are more into the spirit. Drinks in hand, we were shown around the premises which consist of a cosy bar area to sit and have your drinks with nibbles; and two restaurant areas: one which is a big spacious hall, and the lower restaurant area which is more like a cosy nook - perfect for intimate get togethers.

The Old Forge in Otterbourne has recently been redecorated and revamped
The Old Forge in Otterbourne has recently been redecorated and revamped
Interior decor at The Old Forge in Otterbourne
Interior decor at The Old Forge in Otterbourne
Restaurant review of the Old Forge in Otterbourne by blogger Lana Suhova of Dalry Rose Blog
Cosy fire at The Old Forge in Otterbourne
Restaurant review of the Old Forge in Otterbourne by blogger Lana Suhova of Dalry Rose Blog
Make Your Own Gin Bar at The Old Forge in Otterbourne
Make Your Own Gin Bar at The Old Forge in Otterbourne

We chose to sit in the cosy part of the restaurant by the open fire - my favourite kind of nook. Armed with favourite drinks in hand, we browsed the menu. I really enjoyed that there was choice for everyone on the menu - from those more adventurous with food, to picky eaters; vegetarian and vegan options available. More places are becoming vegan friendly however it's still hard to find a country pub who will have more than one or two options available - so seeing a whole menu dedicated to vegan dishes at a cosy country pub is amazing. We're not vegan, but have friends who are and it's great to know where we can all go to enjoy lunch or dinner in a rustic setting.

Whilst we waited for our food we ordered a plate of bread and Nocellara olives which is always a good choice!

For starters we decided to try the Deep Fried Brie in panko breadcrumbs with a spiced fruit & sloe gin chutney, and the King Prawn Gratin in a creamy garlic, white wine & leek sauce, topped with panko breadcrumbs, Gran Moravia cheese and toasted ciabatta. Cheese is life - am I right?

Bread and olives sharing platter
King Prawn Gratin at The Old Forge
King Prawn Gratin at The Old Forge
Deep fried brie with gin chutney at The Old Forge
Starters at the Old Forge in Otterbourne
Deep fried brie with gin chutney at The Old Forge

The king prawn gratin is a must try if you are visiting The Old Forge - it's absolutely delicious! I know some people aren't a fan of cheese and seafood but trust me this you have to try - the perfect mix of creamy cheese, carbs, and a juicy burst of king prawns, balanced with a crunch of breadcrumbs.

The deep fried brie was gooey in the middle and slightly crunchy on the outside - perfect! The slightly sharp and sweet gin chutney perfectly complimented this cheese and we could have happily ate another potion because it was so delicious.

We then went on to our mains: Maple Pork Belly & Pig Cheek with scallops on Dijon chive mash, cavolo nero, crisp prosciutto and a red wine & sage jus; and 10oz Rib-Eye Steak served with twice-cooked chunky chips, roasted mushroom, confit tomato and parsley butter.

Dinner at The Old Forge in Otterbourne
Maple Pork Belly at The Old Forge
Pig cheek and pork belly served with scallops and crispy pancetta at The Old Forge
Pig cheek and pork belly served with scallops and crispy pancetta
Rib-eye steak with chips and beef dripping sauce served at The Old Forge
Rib-eye steak with chips and beef dripping sauce served at The Old Forge
Close up of rib-eye steak and chips with beef dripping sauce

The pork belly and pig cheek dish was delicious - scallops on pork are a great combination! The pork was so tender, my knife slid through it like butter. Crispy pancetta, Dijon mash and cavolo nero were the perfect match to this pork - there is honestly nothing I could pick at or change. This dish gets a massive 10/10 from me!

The steak at The Old Forge was cooked to our liking. When choosing rib-eye we opt for medium rare and the restaurant recommends it medium - the steak was pink and juicy, served with chunky chips and beef dripping sauce. Perfection on a plate! The portion is generous so be hungry when you order it, and make sure you save room for dessert!

Ambassador's Chocolate Bomb at The Old Forge in Otterbourne
Meltin Chocolate Bomb at The Old Forge in Otterbourne
Warm chocolate brownie served at The Old Forge in Otterbourne

We just had to order The Ambassador's Melting Chocolate & Hazelnut Bomb which is a rich chocolate ganache, hazelnut, crisp wafer and vanilla ice cream, encased in a dark chocolate sphere, melted with hot white chocolate sauce. It's a showstopper of a dessert and so fun to watch and eat! It's an indulgent and rich dessert, and the combination of hot and cold is unbeatable. Definitely my favourite dessert to order!

We also tried the Warm Home-baked Chocolate Brownie with Belgian chocolate sauce and Bourbon vanilla ice cream which was delicious. Again it's the combination of hot and cold which I love in desserts, and a rich indulgent flavour - because when it comes to desserts you go big or go home, right?

Find out more about The Old Forge in Otterbourne - visit their website: The Old Forge in Otterbourne 

*The food and drink featured in this post was complimentary for review purposes from The Old Forge. All views are my own.
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