I was visiting triumph live 2014 at the gaydon heritage centre ,and as I was camping close by needed somewhere nice for my tea, I looked on the trip advisor phone app, and saw that the malt shovel was a short distance away and the reviews were excellent, so decided to visit.
they started serving meals at 6.30pm, so I had about half an hour to wait, this was not a problem as I ordered a pint of craft cider and sat outside in the sunshine reading my book, the pub is obviously an after work meeting place for the well healed locals, as it was Friday evening and the tables outside were full, but the car park was empty, apart from the odd Aston martin and jaguar.
I ordered the chicken hotpot with chorizo, shallots and potatoes served with fresh local vegetables, this was from the specials board opposite the bar and priced at £10.95, there was nothing on the menu that I fancied, it was all a bit uninspiring ( the usual steak, gammon etc )
my meal arrived after a short wait and I was a little surprised to see a pale white chicken thigh with the skin on, in a large bowl with some new potatoes and it was all sitting in a small amount of very pale semi clear gravy, this had two small pieces of chorizo, and a well cooked shallot to keep it company, it was accompanied by a tray of sliced carrots, broccoli, and green beans.
I have to say I was expecting a hearty dish of thick and spicy stew, and I suppose it is my fault for not asking if that's what I was going to get, but the word hotpot said it all for me, I removed the boiled skin from the chicken and found it well cooked but quite tasty, although the potatoes were cold and rock hard, and could well have come from a tin, but I suspect think they did not.
I tipped all the vegetables into the dish as it was looking very empty with just the chicken and potatoes, I did eat most of the food as I was hungry, and it certainly filled a gap, but at £10.95 thought it was very poor value for money.
I guess that one persons idea of a hotpot is not another's, I don't watch coronation street but betty's hotpot is apparently famous, and looks nothing like I had !!, and if you Google pictures of chicken hotpot they show a stew, maybe the chef needs to do a bit of googling, before writing the specials board.
altogether, great cider but a disappointing and expensive meal.
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