Restaurant review: The Jolly FarmerBy Becky Barnes
January 16, 2013
When the Jolly Farmer was devastated by a fire in 2011 owners Phoebe Chung and Rob Vickers thought it was the end of their business.
The blaze, which happened on Fathers’ Day, wiped out their kitchen and left them with losses spiralling into thousands of pounds.
The pair were on the brink of packing it all in and moving to Tenerife when they got the go-ahead to renovate the pub and expand their restaurant space to seat 70 diners. So they decided to stay – and it’s a jolly good job they did.
Nestled along a country lane in Hurst, the pub is warm and welcoming with smiling staff and a mix of locals and visitors.
It’s a place that would be great in the summer, too, as the outdoor area is huge. As well as refurbishing the restaurant area Rob and Phoebe have also revamped the menu, now offering two options; traditional pub grub and an Asian menu featuring Thai, Chinese and Malaysian dishes. There was also a specials board of Indian dishes.
Although Gordon Ramsay’s ‘less is more’ theory certainly doesn't apply at The Jolly Farmer, it was nice to have a choice and landlord Rob recommended the Asian menu, which is the main focus for the pub. There are set menu options for one or more to share as well as individual dishes.
I chose the BBQ spare ribs (£5.50) to start, followed by Gang Ped Goong (£8.95).
The pork ribs were cooked well and not too fatty, with the sticky BBQ sauce so moreish I was tempted to drink the remainder from the bowl – but table manners kicked in before I could.
It was a big portion, though, and I decided to save room for my main rather than finish the dish, while my friend tucked into a Chicken and Ham Smoked Applewood Cheese Tart (£4.95).
She let me try some of the cheesy tart and the flavours worked well, but I was glad I had decided to have an Asian evening and try something a bit different from the typical pub fayre.
My Gang Ped Goong – king prawns in a green curry paste with rice – was full of flavour and had a nice zesty taste, but again I was presented with a very big portion.
My companion, choosing from the traditional pub-restaurant menu, tried the Irish stew (£7.50) which was tasty but she had quite a few dumplings and potatoes left over as it was so filling. The generous portions had left us feeling very full but in honour of reviewing we took a break and then ordered some puddings.
I chose the Sweet Raspberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake with cream (£3.95) while my friend picked the Chocolate Orange Melt (£4.50). Thankfully the desserts were light and they went down a treat.
As the restaurant is part of the pub, there are all the drinks you would expect and at a very reasonable price so we opted for the house red which was fine. The service was excellent and the atmosphere very welcoming.
The menu also offers a range of sandwiches and jacket potatoes from £4.95, salads and takeaway options. A set menu as a lunchtime special for £6.25 runs from Monday to Saturday noon to 2.30pm with roast dinners on a Sunday.
- Telephone: 0118 9341881
- Address: The Jolly Farmer