Restaurant review: The Fisherman's CottageBy Phil Creighton
June 02, 2011
What do you think of when someone asks you to name dishes you’d find on a pub menu? Pie and chips? Bangers and mash? A Sunday roast with all the trimmings? Well, think again.
The Fisherman’s Cottage on Kennetside has recently introduced a dedicated Thai kitchen alongside its traditional pub menu – and it’s fantastic.
Available to order for both dining in and at home, every Thai meal is made to order by Thai chefs who know what they’re doing.
I took Newtown reporter Mike Pyle along to road test the dishes and both of us were really impressed by our experience.
If you haven’t been in the Fisherman’s lately, then you’ll have missed out on a lot of changes. The pub has been totally refurbished – new furniture, a pool table and a dart board all await you. The place is also spotless too – no sticky floors here.
Landlord Ricky Nante has also been busy swotting up on his Cask Marque qualifications, almost scoring full marks in a recent test – you can be guaranteed a pint of real ale (or lager if you must) that has been properly looked after.
As a Fuller’s pub, there’s London Pride on tap, but Ricky also has a selection of more unusual real ales for you to try.
And with plenty of seating – outside along the canal or in the beer garden – on a sunny day, it feels like you’re in a classic country pub rather than one that’s just outside Reading’s the town centre.
The Bo Thai menu is served from noon to 2pm and 5.30pm to 8pm from Monday to Thursday and from noon to 8pm over the weekend. You simply order at the bar and your meal will be brought to you.
There’s the usual mix of favourites, including prawn crackers (£1.95), crispy spring rolls (£3.25 veggie, £3.95 chicken) and chicken satay (£4.25) for starters, but there’s also a variety of more unusual dishes to try.
For starters, Mike tried the chicken toast (£3.95), crispy fried chicken served with a sweet chilli sauce. The portion was large enough to be a main course and he loved it. It was, as promised, crispy but, although it was fried, it wasn’t greasy.
The pork spare ribs (£4.50) formed my starter: simply presented with a salad garnish, the meat slid straight off the bone and was very satisfying.
Although tempted by the sea bass, Mike chose the weeping tiger (£9.25) for his main.
Sirloin steak pieces had been marinated in Thai herbs and served with a special tamarind sauce and crispy shallots.
To accompany it, he chose the sticky rice (£2.95).
It was delicious and Mike praised the chef’s abilities in creating a mild dish that left him wanting more.
I tried a tasty stir-fried dish, the chicken pad med mamung (£6.25). It can also be made with tofu or prawns should you wish. The tender chicken pieces were served in a sauce comprising cashew nuts, spring onions, peppers and dry red chillies. Despite containing the chillies, this was also a mild dish.
To accompany it, I chose the plain noodles (£2.95) which, again, were perfect.
These meals were excellent and were restaurant – not pub – standard food.
With the friendly welcome and some good natured banter from the locals, this is something that’s worth going fishing for.
- Telephone: 0118 9571553
- Address: The Fisherman’s Cottage
Reading RG1 3DW