FOOD REVIEW: Tasty treats await in the Dragon’s den

The George & Dragon
High Street
Wargrave RG10 8HY
0118 940 4474
stgeorgeanddragon.co.uk

A HUGELY popular pub has undergone an amazing transformation aimed at creating a modern eatery that makes it an ideal spot to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The George & Dragon in Wargrave’s High Street sits on the banks of the River Thames and last week offered a sneak preview of the changes, both to the building and its menu.

The pub’s general manager, Kylie Woodall, says: “The St George & Dragon is a hugely popular pub, and provides a hub for the local community so we’re really excited to be part of the team as it begins its next chapter.”

And those changes include an extensive revamp of the decking area, offering stunning views of the water and there is also improved wind protection.

It is the ideal place to relax with a gin and tonic in the summer (or even February) sun.

But my family were here to sample the new seasonal menu.

This features a mixture of freshly prepared dishes including sweet chilli king prawn rolls, lamb rack, lamb koftas, a vegan mezze platter and an exciting range of desserts including a delicious chocolate and peanut bombe.

And for those who enjoy healthy eating without the fuss, the St George & Dragon has also launched a new range of high protein, low calorie dishes that are all under 750 calories.

Dishes include king prawn crab and chorizo linguine and stir-fried beef fillet salad.

The new and improved vegan menu is impressed and is packed full of flavoursome favourites with plant-based twists. Guests can enjoy roasted lentil falafel, an impressively stacked burger with slow-roasted tomato sauce, a delicious spiced coconut curry and some dreamy desserts.

Scallops and deep-fried crab balls served on a pea puree made a delicious and filling starter: it was also a very good-sized portion.

On the vegan menu, the starters included an impressive dish of pan-fried mushrooms with spring onions and garlic, served with a soy, lime and ginger dip and a rice ginger cracker (£6.75).

And my son is no fussy eater: he tackled the Salt and Szechuan pepper squid with aioli (£6.75).

Service was perfectly placed between courses, allowing time for our starters to go down but not too long that we were impatiently tapping our feet.

My main, pan-fried sea bass fillet with Parmenter potatoes, pancetta, olives, spinach and white wine velouté (£17.95) was food heaven. The presentation was just beautiful, the taste was superb, and the sea bass was cooked perfectly.

Hubby went for spit roast chicken with lemon and garlic confit, aioli and fries (£12.95). This is also served with kale or cauliflower couscous salad with a pineapple, lemongrass and ginger dressing. The chicken was moist, and the fries were hit.

And my 11-year-old, who fancies himself as a bit of foodie, opted to enjoy a 7oz fillet steak and twice cooked chips (£23.95) from the grown-up menu. He asked for this plain, however it would normally be accompanied with an ale-glazed shallot tart topped with Cropwell Bishop custard, Stilton and Walnut crumb and twice cooked chips.

He felt that it was perfection.

However, my seven-year-old daughter opted to enjoy a mini burger and fries (£5.95) from the children’s menu. The burgers were lovely and chunky. Don’t think that the portions are petite: it was very generous and would easily have been enough for a grown-up.

Old romantics that we are, my husband and I snuggled up to enjoy The House Sharer (£11.95) for dessert: a mixture of chocolate Brownie, baked vanilla cheesecake, mango and berry meringue nest, Bourbon vanilla ice cream and a cookie sandwich. It had the wow factor and could have fed the four of us.

The children both opted for the Bourbon vanilla ice cream cookie sandwich (£2.50) off the children’s menu, which was swiftly judged to be the best they’d ever had – high praise indeed.

All-in-all we had a fantastic evening in a stylish and comfortable restaurant, with extensive menus to cater for all tastes.

The service was excellent, the waiting staff were friendly, knowledgeable and attentive and the food was very reasonably priced.

We will be returning as there are lots of other dishes that we want to try.

CLAIRE WORSFOLD

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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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