This week we were kindly invited for a complimentary meal at The Forge in Washington village. The restaurant is set inside a Grade II listed building that over the years has been a blacksmith’s forge, stables and even a pottery studio.
The restaurant boasts “a focus on local, quality ingredients and doing something ‘a little bit different’ for Washington.”
The restaurant is situated in the middle of Washington village, surrounded by towering trees and flower beds.
The interior is warm and welcoming, with the rustic style working perfectly in the historic building. There’s a log burning stove, hanging lights and a killer indie/rock sound track playing throughout. it really is a fantastic, elegant setting to enjoy some great dishes.
As we were visiting on a Saturday afternoon, we opted to try the small plates, as we would be able to try a variety of the dishes that we’re recommended to show the best that the restaurant had to offer.
Sharing smaller dishes and trying a variety of dishes is one of my favorite ways to dine and clearly a popular choice with others dining in the restaurant too.
They currently offer 2 small plates and 1 side dish for only £9. Given the selection of dishes and quality of the food, it’s incredibly good value! For £18 for the two of us, I felt that we got a very generous amount of food.
The small dishes on the menu included:
- Green pea soup, fresh mint, warm bread.
- Dressed English asparagus, slow cooked egg, beurre blanc, hazelnut picada.
- Grilled fillet of mackerel, horseradish crème fraîche, pickled cucumber.
- Glazed cabbage and broccoli, toasted peanuts, Korean dressing.
- Breaded cod nuggets, sriracha mayo, pickled carrot, coriander.
- Baked hen’s egg, slow cooked ham and leeks, mustard butter.
- Beer battered wild garlic, potato purée, chives and spring onions.
- Crispy chicken terrine, wild garlic mayo, pea vinaigrette.
- Creamed spring greens, market fish cake.
We opted for the Green pea soup, breaded cod nuggets, crispy chicken terrine, the market fish cake, with a side of Parmesan fries and seasonal salad. For £18 it wasn’t bad at all!
The breaded cod bites were first on my list to try. They were cooked perfectly, with the light golden breadcrumbs and delicious spicy sriracha mayo. The beansprouts we’re a bit of a different choice as a dressing.
I think perhaps some patatas bravas or mushy peas may have worked a little better, but overall the dish was still nice!
Next we tried the fish cake. This was also served in a miniature cast iron skillet, which I’m a big fan of…I just need to convince my wife to let me buy yet more kitchenware ?!
The fish cake was absolutely delicious with a wonderful crispy coating. The creamed leek and peas that it came with went really well, although I think the decorative flowers were somewhat lost in the mix. Out of all of the dishes, the fish cake was quite possibly my favourite and certainly one I would recommend.
Next, we tried the crispy chicken terrine with wild garlic mayo, pea vinaigrette. The terrine itself was very flavoursome.
I think on this occasion we perhaps opted for too many fried breaded options. In retrospect, we should have tried the mackerel or the baked hens egg, however
Last up was the green pea soup, fresh mint and warm bread. Although the presentation was somewhat lacking compared to the other dishes, it was incredibly tasty.
The Forge offers an extremely welcoming environment and affordable dishes that are a step above the usual lunchtime menu. The team have clearly put a lot of effort into pulling a creative menu that offers a new twist on some classic dishes, without compromising on portions.
For £18 we were served up a great selection of dishes and more than enough for both of us. I’ll be certain to revisit The Forge for a Sunday dinner in the near future, as they are rumored to be one of the best!