The Fox Crawley
Updated: Jul 11, 2019
Just a few miles out of Winchester, The Fox in Crawley has a pretty good reputation of late. It also happens to be in one of the most picturesque villages, attested to by the fact my Sister in Law got out of the taxi, and disappeared for fifteen minutes to take pictures (you don't get many thatched roofs in London!)...
Having made a decision on her behalf, we ordered some white wine and a few croquettes (the black pudding and apple were especially good) whilst we waited for the photographer to finish up (we did save a croquette for her), and sat perusing the menu on what was the hottest day of the year so far.
Although I would hesitate to call The Fox a pub nowadays (it's more about the food!) it does have a great bar (I love the interior design throughout) and a great selection of drinks of all kinds (including different beers and 12 IPAs, lots of different cocktails and a good, reasonably priced wine list). Do be careful if you are planning on imbibing a few in the bar without any food however, the bar stools at the tables are stylish but with only three legs could prove slightly precarious...
I was really happy to see the Kimchi starter still on the menu, albeit this time with seabass rather than shaved scallops. I will admit that I preferred the original scallop version that reminded me so much of a dish at Geist in Copenhagen, but the seabass edition was still beautiful with a gentleman's relish mayo, tiny brown shrimp, coriander oil and a good chilli kick from the kimchi cabbage. The Porthilly Oysters from Rock in Cornwall were also excellent, and we loved the Tabasco selection!
Our eating partners opted for the 36 Day Aged Cotes De Boeuf for two on our recommendation served on Romsey Watercress, with a green salad and skinny chips and a sauce Bearnaise. At £45 for all of that food, it's such good value, and the beef is exquisite. We are making a conscious effort to reduce our red meat intake for various reasons, so if we are going to eat it, it needs to be this good as it's a rare treat (or in this case medium rare).
Not wishing to choose the same as last time (although sorely tempted) , we both opted for the Monk Fish on a spiced Aubergine puree with coconut, green picante dressing, white bait, crispy shallots and coriander. This was a great option for a balmy evening, and perfect in terms of textures and spice levels.
We had a couple of bottles of wine with dinner, an excellent Kleine Zalze and a Daciana Pinot Noir which left me wanting to learn more about Romanian wine it was that good.
Desserts were chosen more out of greed than need, but deciding to go down the four spoons two puddings route, we thoroughly enjoyed a dark chocolate Delice with honeycomb, vanilla pod ice cream and coffee syrup, and a gluten free sticky toffee pudding which was light and delicious.
Another lovely meal with attentive service from excellent staff. We can understand why it's so popular, but if you can't get the day you originally try to book for, it's definitely worth waiting...