The Crown have a long-held desire to surprise and delight their guests
You’d forgive The Crown Hotel in Bawtry for sticking to what it knows best. Those hearty steaks, gravity-defying burgers and tasty platters would easily be enough to lure in diners every night of the week for years to come.
But they’ve never been content with resting on their laurels, and this long-held desire to surprise and delight their guests with tantalising new dishes is hard to resist.
I’m no stranger to the Crown’s varied menus. From light lunches and cosy meals for two to banquets fit for a king, I’ve sampled them all and been impressed every time with how well head chef of 30-plus years Caz and her team turn their hand to each situation.
On this particular occasion, it was an evening meal for two to road-test the brand new menu. Alongside those favourites now sit a host of exciting new options that we couldn’t wait to try. I chose the healthy route when selecting a starter, with a spicy Thai duck salad. The aromatic duck had been rubbed liberally with a spicy marinade – it’s not for the faint-hearted but perfect if you love a proper dose of heat – and was doused with a really tasty sauce before being sprinkled with sesame seeds. Shards of carrot and cabbage beneath were smothered in a lime and ginger dressing. I made a mental note to choose this again in future, perhaps as a bigger version for a main course.
Across the table, my partner raved about his mussels, soaked in a beautiful white wine, cream, garlic and parsley sauce, which he mopped up with crusty bread once he’d devoured his good portion of shellfish. Things had got off to a winning start – and mains continued along the same course.
The peppery pesto cream sauce was a great accompaniment to the pumpkin ravioli – perfectly cooked pasta with a wonderful touch of sweetness from the pumpkin. The crushed amaretti breadcrumb topping was a great addition and added a lovely crunch to the dish. My partner had chosen a heartier option, with an unusual take on the traditional surf and turf. Rather than steak and king prawns, Caz’s offering included crispy belly pork, succulent scallops balanced on discs of black pudding, a smooth sweet potato puree and a creamy cider and sage sauce. A side of fresh curly kale with chilli and garlic proved an excellent addition to the luxuriously rich dish.
To finish, we sidestepped our usual squabble over who is allowed the best pudding on the menu by sharing a long-standing Crown favourite – the dessert platter. Tiny glasses of Eton mess, two slices of chocolate brownie, two portions of Bakewell tart, a scoop of clotted cream, a silky caramel sauce and bowl of honeycomb ice cream. These little bits of everything add up to a very exciting whole and ensured we ended our meal in real style.
Whether you’re a regular at the Crown or considering your first visit, this new menu – and the traditional favourites – are well worth checking out.
The Crown Hotel, High Street, Bawtry, Doncaster DN10 6JW
Tel: 01302 710341