Restaurant Review: The Compasses Inn, Crundale, Kent

Ben Brown
Ben Brown
Oct 6, 2018 · 8 min read

Ambiance

As you’ll see from the header image, the pub is very much a traditional Kentish country rural pub and inside is no different. On entering through the front you come across the main bar area, which also seats around 4–5 tables for food. This is a traditional, wooden beamed area and the staff provide a warm, friendly welcome.

The rear dining room (before the other tables arrived)

Menu

At lunchtime on a Friday we were offered two menus. First up was the excellent value, set-lunch menu at £19.95 for 3-courses. With three choices per course, we saw others eating this and it really looked great. It is this menu that the pub has been awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand for. Given this was a celebration for our anniversary, we opted to eat from the main menu instead.

The main menu for 28th September 2018
The Bread, complete with butter (top) and Marmite cream cheese (bottom)

Starters

Having both ordered from the main menu I opted for the Ham Hock Terrine while my wife decided to try the Pork Belly. Both were beautifully presented (if a little similar looking!) and tasted great. The terrine was perfectly completed by the pickled pear on top as well as the ketchup. My wife was similarly satisfied with the crispy pork belly with poached apples. Both were great dishes but not our highlight.

Ham Hock Terrine with Charred Pickled Pear and Walnut Ketchup
Honey Glazed Pork Belly, Mead Poached Apple, Crispy Pork Crackling and Sage

Mains

Following a short wait our main courses arrived. By this point the dining room had really filled up. When I’m out I always try to order something I wouldn’t normally eat at home and this time it was game season so I opted for the locally sourced Pigeon. Clara opted for the Soy Glazed Ox Cheek. We also decided to order a side of triple-cooked chips — partly as I always love to compare these, but also as I was a little concerned the mains would be large enough. The side dishes were great value at £3.50, when compared to our normal £5+ in most London establishments.

Roast Crundale Pigeon with Pickled Red Cabbage, Black Pudding Fritter and Damson Plum Chutney
Soy Glazed Ox-cheek with Bacon Crumb, Smoked Chips (not shown), Cavelo Nero, and a Black Garlic and Onion Puree
Smoked Chips (for Ox Cheek Dish, top), Triple-Cooked Chips (bottom)

Desserts

After not really managing to finish all the chips with the main course, we still wanted to try out desserts and I’m very glad that we did! The menu gave us plenty of choice and I opted for my normal chocolate addiction, this time going for a Chocolate Mousse Brownie. Clara could also satisfy her asian sweet tooth by going for a Macaron served with Black Sesame Ice Cream.

Dessert menu for 28th September 2018
Chocolate Mousse Brownie with Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Coconut and Lime Macaron with Black Sesame Ice Cream

Service

Throughout the meal service was amazing friendly. It was obvious that the front-of-house was well looked after by Donna who was supported by two other waitresses. We found out early on that it as one of the waitresses first services, and while she was clearly nervous (a little accident with a glass didn’t help!) we felt very welcome and looked after. Donna is obviously very experienced and when we arrived 10 minutes early she clearly told us that she would come and take our order at the right time to avoid stressing the kitchen. Its great to be made aware of this, rather than just appearing to forget someone.

Overall

We really enjoyed our trip to The Compasses Inn and would certainly revisit. Our personal highlight was the desserts and I’m not sure who looks after desserts in the kitchen, but they clearly understand how to satisfy people at the end of a meal. The total bill (excluding service) was around £85, but if you’re on a tighter budget then you can easily do 3-courses from the set menu much more cheaply. In fact, it would probably be cheaper than a visit to Pizza Express or Zizzi’s and would certainly be more satisfying!

Ben Brown — My Personal Blog

A personal blog from a London based engineering leader passionate about food and travel.

Ben Brown

Written by

Ben Brown

London based Engineering Leader, Technologist and Foodie. Loves travelling and eating and blogging about it afterwards!

Ben Brown — My Personal Blog

A personal blog from a London based engineering leader passionate about food and travel.