Sunday 29 January 2012

The Standings Cross, Matfield, Kent

A non-descript pub-cum-restaurant in the prosperous, rambling village of Matfield, The Standings Cross is a mixed bag. Around 2pm on a Sunday, the service can be slow and the portions meagre, but some of the food, particularly the deserts, can be very good. While you are waiting and waiting, you get to nibble on some nice, fluffy bread, served with olive oil. The Sunday roasts (choice of chicken, lamb or pork for £13 each) can be disappointing. The Yorkshire puddings are good enough, but the apologetic chef might run out of lamb and top you up in person with pork or chicken. Moreover, the roast parsnips and potatoes can be singed around the edges and the meat fatty. The roast chicken, moist in its skin, is probably the best bet. Alternatively, the monk fish wrapped in bacon and served with Parmesan risotto looks the part, but is on the small side for £15. Kids' portions are half price. You'll probably need a desert and, fortunately, they are good. The sticky toffee pudding is rich and oozing sugar, but it could do with some ice cream. The well-presented apple crumble (in a mannequin dish) isn't so sweet, but has a lovely flavour and comes with fine ice cream. The choice of beers includes Harveys and a few standard lagers. But you might find a latte, which is big, frothy and very good for £2, to be the highlight of the meal. Service at The Standings Cross tends to be slow, leaving you plenty of time to gaze at the garish modern art on the walls. 5/10