FOOD REVIEW: Home-cooked food at its best at the Dog & Fox

IT’S a long time since I’ve been to the Dog & Fox at Bradford on Avon so, after a long day at work, my wife Feona and I decided not to bother staying in to eat but to venture out and let someone else do the cooking.

For anyone who has never been there, the Dog & Fox is a quaint 17th century inn located on the upper edge of the town close to the Wiltshire Music Centre and St Laurence School.

Having parked the car, we ventured inside to find the traditional English inn has been newly redecorated inside.

We ordered drinks at the small bar – a pint of Timothy Taylor for me (it’s one of my favourite beers) and a pint of blackcurrant and soda for Feona.

After browsing the menu, Fee settled for the Tempura prawns (£7.50) with a sweet chilli dip, lemon and salad garnish, while I opted for the Calamari (deep fried squid rings) with lemon and garnish (£5.50).

According to Fee, the Tempura prawns are “to die for”, cooked in a lovely batter and accompanied by a very sticky but sweet chilli dip and a salad of green lettuce, red onion slices and tomato.

My six Calamari rings were served on a platter – personally I prefer a plate – but were very well cooked, with a salad garnish similar to Feona’s starter, and were absolutely delicious.

For the main courses, Fee had ordered the Hunter’s Chicken (£12) with slices of streaky bacon, BBQ sauce, cheese and sweet potato fries and a salad, while I chose the sea bass (£12) with three-flavoured sauce, coconut rice and green bean vegetables (this meal also contains chilli).

Both meals were beautifully presented and well cooked and served in bowls on a plate. Fee’s was accompanied by a small bowl of salad comprising lettuce and slices of red onion, cucumber and tomato, plus the fries, while my sea bass was served on a bed of coconut rice, with green beans, lemon and garnish.

Fee had spent part of the previous day at the dentist and still had a sore gum but nevertheless said her Hunter’s Chicken almost melted in the mouth.

My sea bass was a nice-sized portion, very delicious and crispy on its edges, with the coconut rice and beans just nicely cooked. If the chef wanted to improve the dish, she could use a little more spice on the fish, but that’s being picky.

By the time we had finished the main course, Fee was perfectly satisfied and didn’t want a pudding, but I have a sweeter tooth, so plumped for the New York Cheesecake (£5.50) with a raspberry coulis and cream.

The pudding is one of my personal favourites and was nicely presented on a plate. I found it not too hard or too soft, with a lovely tangy edge to the taste.

The Dog & Fox’s menu covers most of the popular choices for white and red meats, fish and vegetarian/vegan options. It’s not exciting or innovative, but offers good, standard, pub fare at a reasonable price.

In my view, the Dog & Fox is an lovely character inn serving unpretentious food. The warm welcome, decor, service. The total bill came to £51.70, which I think is excellent value for money.

John Baker

This is Wiltshire

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