A week or so ago, Mr and myself celebrated two years of blissful union. Awww. Do you know when I first met that boy, he’d never had a fishfinger sandwich? Can you imagine! I put an end to that lack of experience for him quite swiftly on our second date, where we went for a long walk and a happy lunch at the Kings Arms in sunny Colchester. Being short on readies and creativity, we decided to stumble back here for an anniversary lunch. He had some kind of chicken-bacon-cheese bake thing and I, well, I couldn’t help myself.
I have to say, it looked pretty bloody marvellous: crispy fried haddock goujons and fresh lettuce served in some kind of artisan type bread, basil and lime mayo on the side for optional bread smearing and the skin on chips that are always a winner at this particular establishment. Beautifully turned out, the proverbial first bite as taken by the eye was most satisfying indeed. And something of a false promise it turned out, because the first bite with my actual eating bits was disappointingly flat. The bread was dense and white, the goujons were hot and crunchy on the outside, softly fleshy on the inside. The lettuce was fresh and crisp and made a satisfying snap as bitten into. The lime basil mayo didn’t taste of lime or mayo. This my friends was a precision exercise in presentation and texture but sadly forlorn when it came to flavour.
I’m not sure what went wrong really, there was just nothing there, other than the chips which were excellent as usual. Maybe their potatoey mojo robbed the other items on the plate, forced them to be a dull background noise next to the glorious symphony of twice fried sticks of spud. But I don’t think so. I see here rather a beautiful example of how form means bugger all without function and that six quid is not a good price to pay for a lunch that tastes like textured air with chips.
A shame, and something of a shock as I’m used to getting good grub at this particular ale house and in the past their FFS efforts have been up there with the best. I will return at a later date and hope to all that is foodie that this was a one off and normal service will be resumed.
A gloomy five out of ten in summary, most of which is for the presentation and the aforementioned kickass chips. One bonus point for super quick service.