Shepherd’s Rest: Arnhall Business Park, Westhill
AFTER a fairly unroman-tic Valentine’s card featuring a tiger and no gift, I had some ground to make up with the missus.
So I decided on that most romantic of things – lunch with her dad in a “traditional” pub. And The Shepherd’s Rest really is all horse brass and blackboards.
Forgoing starters, I decided on the diablo roast chicken (£8.45). An incredibly moist half chicken came smeared in a peri-peri marinade made up of crushed dried chilli, which really packed a punch.
It was quite daring for the bland crowd-pleasing “spicy” food served in most pubs.
It came with some decent chips and salad, and a diablo sauce, which seemed to be an odd but not unpleasant sweet gravy.
The missus’s meal wasn’t quite as successful. Going for the safe option of chicken burger (£7.30) and chips, the portion was huge but just poached chicken breast – no seasoning and no sauce, save for a good garlic mayonnaise.
But she seemed to have just been the victim of a bad choice, since her dad’s venison haunch steaks (£11.60) were as good as he’d ever had – even if the size was more modest. Served with mash, vegetables and gravy, it was what traditional pub food is all about.
Desserts were also fairly pleasing. A sweet apple crumble (£4.25) and a generous cheese board (£4.80) made sure we were filled.