Friday 4 January 2013

The Rainbow & Dove PH, Hastingwood

I’ve been visiting this pub for many years and I love it. Andy and Kate run a very friendly pub with low beams and a great atmosphere that was originally opened in 1645! In the winter there is a roaring log fire, in the summer the large beer garden is a great place to sit in the sun and the fireworks display (with insanely large bonfire) is something I always look forward to. A credible range of ale is served all year. And most importantly, it is the one place I know that can always, always, always be relied upon for great food.

The main menu isn’t especially large but it is good, and there is an ever-changing array of dishes on the specials board. However, it stands out for me for one reason…

The very best steak & kidney pie I have ever eaten.

The steak & kidney pie (£8.15) is homemade and is on the main menu; sometimes it is substituted for a suet pudding, as it was at lunchtime today. I think I must have eaten here fifty times, and have easily ordered the steak & kidney pie for 50% or more of those visits. It is best served with sautéed potatoes.

Like the pie, the pudding is a very generous portion (as you can see!) that is bursting with big, tender chunks of beef and just the right amount of kidney. Other than quality of ingredients, it is the ratio between the two constituent parts that I think makes a great steak & kidney pie or pudding. I would suggest that at the Rainbow & Dove the filling is 60% steak and 40% kidney. Perfect, and whilst the pudding is great I think the excellent short crust pastry means that the pie is just ahead. I’ll say it once again, perfect!

So, make a beeline for the Rainbow & Dove and order the steak & kidney pie, I literally cannot recommend it highly enough, the first SUPER-DISH of 2013. If you fancy a starter I would also recommend the smoked salmon & prawns with horseradish & lime vinaigrette (£6.15).

The Rainbow & Dove PH, Hastingwood Road, Hastingwood, nr. Harlow, Essex, CM17 9JX

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