So it may be Friday 13th and unlucky for some, but it definitely wasn’t for us as we were ‘lucky’ enough to be asked to come and try the Dragonfly Hotel’s new menu.
Now, some of you may not know it, or may actually pass it by and not give it another thought…. but maybe next time you should get yourself down there as it has a lovely location right next to the Rowing Lake (off Thorpe Road) with some great views from their bar area and restaurant. When the weather is good, the doors are open and you can even sit on their patio. It’s easy enough to visit on a day out walking around the riverside or the rowing lake and within a suitable distance from the town centre with ample parking space…
Today, Lucia asked us to come down and try their new menu. They have lovingly modernised and created a new menu to entice more guests into their public areas, the bar and restaurant, and have extended their hours too as they are now open from 12pm for lunch all the way through to 9pm for your evening meal. Their restaurant is medium-sized and you will not find yourself penned into your seat, you’ve got plenty of room to have a personal meal without being overcrowded by others.
So, let’s get down the best bits then… what did we try?
For starters we had some CRISPY CHICKEN STRIPS – crispy chicken breast strips with some chipotle mayo (£4.95) these went down a treat as they were tasty and nice pieces of chicken. SALT & PEPPER SQUID – lightly coated calamari with a paprika mayo (£5.95) – small bundles of squid that was served with lettuce leaves – light and easy. CAULIFLOWER FRITTERS – lightly dusted fried cauliflower pieces served with cucumber and a parsley yoghurt dip (£4.95) – great tasting medium-sized pieces of cauliflower (great for vegetarians) and the batter was lovely and light, not being heavy and oily.
Moving on we tried the KANSAS STYLE BBQ RIBS which are slow-cooked sweet & sticky ribs in a smoky bbq sauce with slaw and seasoned chips (£12.95) it’s a really bit rack and the meat actually falls away off the bone – simply deliciously sweet and definitely sticky – worth every penny you won’t be disappointed and it’s great to share too (if you want to LOL). THAI FISHCAKES – Thai style cod and prawn fishcakes served with broccoli, new potatoes and a dill mayonnaise (£11.95) they were a lot larger than I expected, don’t think small 3″ fishcakes think BIG and they were again, surprisingly light and enjoyable, the ‘Thai style’ was not hot or spicy, which was great for me. The dip was a cool addition to the plate of hot new potatoes and firm broccoli.
Now then, a completely new concept is their HAND-STRETCHED PIZZAS! We tried the Pepperoni and I even went into the kitchen to see it being made. The dough is hand-stretched and then placed on a round baking tray with holes before going into the oven. The PEPPERONI PIZZA was well-cooked with a rich tomato sauce, mozzarella, cheddar cheese and double pepperoni – no soggy bottom-a nice firm base. A great tasting pizza with a medium sized base (not thick and not thin) they are a whole 12″ so you get a good plateful and of course it’s ample to share 1 or 2 as a family or with friends with other dishes or some of their chips which you can buy as a side dish for just £2.95.
And finally, we come to desserts… having so much to choose from was more of the problem as they all sounded so tempting. We finally went for 2 desserts from the ICE CREAM PARLOUR section: a CARAMEL SHORTBREAD – served in a mason jar was vanilla and toffee ice cream sundae with hot caramel sauce, shortbread pieces, fresh cream and honeycomb (£4.95) I’m surprised they fit it all in – if you’ve got a sweet tooth or you’re bringing the kids this is definitely for you or them and the BELGIAN WAFFLE with berries and fresh cream – a large waffle which was quite dense in size and texture which was not overly sweet. A really nice dessert for anyone that likes the sharp berry taste against the cream. Then my choice, as I can never be enticed any other way when I see the word ‘chocolate’ on the menu… so I went for their CHOCOLATE CAKE – a rich tall piece of cake with a thick chocolate butter icing on top and inside, served with hot fudge sauce and vanilla ice cream (£4.45)- What a dessert lover’s dream that was! Thick but light, sweet and a touch of the hot and cold sensation with the ice cream on the side.
Children are catered for to which is great as they have a children’s menu too which consists of one main course with a dessert and a bottled water for just £5.95!
All in all, it was a lucky day for us as you can see we ate some good tasting enjoyable food. The time there was pleasant in the restaurant, eating within a nice setting and appealing views.
It’s worth trying the Dragonfly the next time you are wondering where to eat and especially if making your way to the gastro-pub next door… you’ll be more than surprised.