On any visit to the cluster of retail parks at Cribbs Causeway, I have always found little inspiration for eating out in the area as it is filled with the typical high street chain restaurants you would find anywhere else. So when I heard that a new pub open had opened a few months back, I was keen to give it a try in hoping to find something new and possibly something good.
Going there for a weekday lunch on a Thursday, I didn’t expect to find a pub full of people which made me think there were actually more people who shared similar thoughts as me on the lack of available of new places to eat in the area. Located next to the Premier Inn hotel in Cribbs Causeway which is further away from the main complex of The Mall, it was not a place you would accidently walk in to but it was very noticeable when driving by.
As part of Greene King chain of Farmhouse Inns pub restaurants, the focus of a family pub is very evident with an even of mix of patrons including families with toddlers, old age pensioners and local workers. With a highlight on their daily carvery, there was an option of three plate sizes to choose from and with four roasts meats available. Not knowing the size of food servings, we picked the standard carvery plate (£6.35) which allowed the choice of two meats accompanied with over eight cooked vegetables as well as a salad bar selection. This was by far the most popular counter with a steady queue of hungry customers. Whilst waiting in the queue to get served, the staffs were friendly and helpful in recommending the many choices of roasts including roast pork, roast gammon, roast turkey and roast beef. Having had some prior negative experiences with carvery restaurants when the roast meats have turned out too overcooked and tough, I was pleasantly surprised by the overall good quality of roast offered. The gammon was surprisingly outstanding with a juicy and flavoursome texture and it was something you could repeatedly keep coming back for. As roast beef goes, it was good and above average in standard but nothing special to write home about.
There was a large range of cooked vegetables available which included boiled potatoes, mash potatoes, roast potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, parsnips and peas and when you start filling the rest of your plate up with the vegetable selection, your plate becomes a substantial serving of food. There was hardly and room left on the plate when you reach the salad bar after the cooked vegetable counter. This was a bit of a design flaw in the flow of self-serving counters because why would you put salad and dressing on top of your roast and cooked vegetables? Despite the wide range of cooked vegetables on offer, the disappointment was in the fact that all were over boiled to the point that there hardly any texture remaining. As a carvery plate goes, the key roast items were very good and for the price, it was a good value offering.
We also order the Half roast chicken (£8.75) which was not part of the carvery counter but came directly from the kitchen. Of all the meat options for a roast, I have always enjoyed roast chicken as the staple benchmark item for any given Sunday roast. The consistency of chicken meat texture does not vary too much and over every Sunday in the last decade, I have had this the most because it easiest to prepare and readily available. Although this is probably the most basic and most frequently eaten roast meats you can have, it is for that same reason why you should try this dish more often when eating out because you are much more of an expert in knowing the perfect requirements for this dish than you think. In terms of appearance compared with the carvery plate, the selection of cooked vegetable items were the same as from the carvery counter but it was not as overcooked which likely meant the vegetables at the carvery was cooked a while ago and whilst warming on the counter had become overdone. The chicken could do wrong as it was well cooked, generously portioned and even came complete with stuffing and pigs in blanket.
The food menu also highlighted their wide selection of sliced cakes available which can be bought as a takeaway. There were over 8 choices of cakes available and although it was comparably more expensive as the price of sliced cake goes, the portion was close to double the average size. We decided to go for a slice of Rolo Roulade (£4.25) which was a creamy roll of caramel sponge and chocolate with Rolo chocolates. It was a visually impressive and large dessert that was seemingly closer to a sharing portion but the balance of cream and sponge was unfortunately reversed and proved too overwhelming for my liking. If you do not mind having the majority of your cake having over 80 per cent in cream and icing with just a thin lining of sponge to balance, then this might be the one for you.
Apart from the food and drinks, one attraction of the restaurant should be mentioned which is probably one of the most outstanding feature compared other family friendly pubs is that there is the large indoor children’s play area. Located in the family seating section, the play area has many soft play apparatus and a number of interactive toys for small children and there are even arcade games available for older children. I can only imagine how packed and hectic it can here on weekends but if you have a weekday free and available and so happened to be in the area, it is worth a visit to experience for yourself.
Redwood Farm Pub
Bristol BS10 7TQ
Tel. 0117 959 4722