I will start this review by being honest, I have never liked the food at The Flyer. I drink in there pretty often, I live literally across the road and it has a decent garden, enough seating and more recently, a decent selection of beers. The recent update of the interior has made it a very cosy place to be, the garden is a dream and colour schemes of blue and green have left me envious. The food, however, has always been a let down.
Everything dripping in oil, stale, over cooked, no love, no flare and too much choice on the menu meant we wouldn’t eat there unless stuck for choices.
However, when Joe, the new manager, dropped me a message to ask if i would like to come and try the new menu launched this week with some friends for half price I liked him enough to say yes. Joe really seems to care about the pub and has been at the forefront of the welcomed changes. “So” I thought, “what the hell, lets give it a go”.
I took three friends who all drink at the pub regularly with me and were instantly pleased to find the menu had been cut down considerably. The choices ranged from burgers to monkfish and I liked that the menu had grown up a bit. Gone were the small plates (praise the Gods) and instead there were starters, mains and desserts. Keep it simple, keep me happy.
We went for the half roast chicken, the pork chop, shepherds pie and the katsu burger and nervously waited. What turned up legitimately blew us away . Fantastic portions, piping hot, flavourful food that looked inviting. The pork came bone in with a mushroom sauce, black pudding cake and sautéed new potatoes. The shepherd’s pie came with actual, soft chunks of lamb, a beautifully buttery mash topping and a side of greens. It was the perfect size for one and I was informed there was not a bad thing to say about it. The katsu burger was spicy with juicy chicken and came on a wholemeal bap which held together better than a normal, white bun. The fries were cooked beautifully and the diner was glad there was no superfluous salad on the side. My half lemon and garlic chicken had crispy skin, moist meat and three cloves of soft, roasted garlic. The gravy was thick and full of flavour and the fresh herbs were a lovely touch.
Dessert wasn’t quite the triumph the mains were but still satisfying. Profiteroles were served with a caramel sauce we all suck our fingers in, the eton mess was huge but watch out for the almonds, this strong flavour wasn’t mentioned on the menu. The lemon tart was sadly left on the pass a little too long so was warm and the marmalade sauce overpowered the lemon flavour. A raspberry coulee would have been a better choice in our opinion. My polenta cake was soft, not too sweet and i loved the marmalade sauce with it. Id have perhaps suggested some of the chantilly cream from the profiteroles on the side if they wanted to add a little something. We were also hoping for a bit more of a wintery selection for the puddings but this may change as he head into colder weather.
All in we were very impressed, our server Abby was lovely and talked about how excited she was for the new menu and honestly i can see why. The menu and food on offer is far more grown up and sophisticated than the previous fayre of burgers or fried chicken and the portion sizes were spot on for the four of us. They seem to have got a chef (Bertie) in the kitchen that cares about what is going out and i would absolutely come here again.