Shepherd and Dog Fulking – Smashing Sunday Roast
Brighton Food Reviewer, Georga, April 2015
I’ve been going to the Shepherd and Dog for years, after walks, during countryside drives in the summer, for no other reason than the gorgeous garden and the crystal clear waters of the babbling brook and the sitting outside having a pint in such beautiful surroundings.
Nestled at the foot of a big hill in the South Downs, just behind Devils Dyke, it’s a not so secret destination for ramblers and families and motor cyclists and Sunday-Jaunter’s alike.
Since the revamping of the bar area and the introduction of a FANTASTIC new chef-cum-partner, it’s now attracting many more gastro fans from Brighton and Hove and the surrounding towns.
I went a few weeks ago for a Sunday hangover cure, ate a lovely meal and dessert in the garden (start of spring, body warmers on but the pull of the sunshine was too strong) and it was just wonderful. So imagine my delight when Mr RB invited me to go down for a Sunday Roast!
I decided to take my mum as her birthday was a few days after, and why not drag out the cellies as much as possible 😉 So down we went! It was heaving with people, packed to the rafters inside and out, but luckily we had booked a table. I wouldn’t recommend just turning up on a Sunday and hoping for the best, but good luck if that’s your decision.
We sat down in the sunshine (warmer this time – no sleeves!) and ordered some lovely wine off the lovely waitress. In fact all the staff are brilliant, friendly, chatty and wall to wall GENUINE smiles. It’s no wonder though when they get to eat food during their shift like we were about to eat.
We started with a Melted Quarter Wheel of Crumber Sussex Camembert with Crusty bread (£3.50) which wascrunchy and tadty – a perfect temperature to dunk the bread in without scalding your mouth, and the Salt and Pepper Squid with Fresh Chilli and Spring Onions (£4).
It too was delicious. The squid was perfectly cooked and delicately seasoned, not at all chewy, and the light and crispy batter was tasty without being oily.
They are served as tapas so not too big, which is just right when you want to have a few tasty nibbles with your pint and not too big a meal. In our case they were the perfect size so as not to reduce our appetites enough to spoil our roast dinner, which was in all honesty, the best roast dinner I’ve eaten anywhere (apart from in my own home of course!)
I ordered the Sirloin of Sussex Beef with Rosemary and Garlic, which came with (as do all the roasts) dripping potatoes, honey parsnips, braised red cabbage, carrot and swede mash, winter greens, red wine jus and an enormous home made yorkshire pudding.
It was absolutely amazing. The beef was perfectly cooked, moist, incredibly tasty and accompanied by a fiery and eye watering home made course horseradish sauce.
My mum had the Leg of South Downs Lamb, which was just as tender and delicious as the beef and a nice mix and match after we’d shared a bit amongst ourselves. The potatoes were the king of the plate. They were just perfect, crisp and salty and crunchy outside, with a soft and fluffy middle just right for soaking up the gravy (jus). The parsnips were firm and golden, the cabbage not too sweet and the right softness to compliment the crunchy freshness of the greens.
My mum had the home made mint sauce on the side which was beautiful. Each and every ingredient on the dish tasted fresh, delicious and smacked of quality produce. I can’t fault it in any way, and neither would I try to. Every scrap was eaten off both plates and that’s not only a rarity but an indication of the quality of the amazing dishes. Well worth the £15 in every way.
We finished the meal with a coffee and dessert, we shared a Sticky Toffee Pudding with Brandy Ice Cream, which was dark and moist, rich but very light, and tasted of bonfire toffee. The Other dessert was the Apple and Rhubarb Crumble with Vanilla Custard. It was sharp and hot with an amazing crunch, the custard thick and creamy and gorgeous. All in all a bloody good meal and really good value for money.
The popularity of the Shepherd and Dog will never wane, this new facelift has just added a few more people to the waiting list and the fact that they are landscaping the gardens over the next few weeks – just in time for summer, will only add to it’s appeal.
Well done team, you’ve done a blinding job and I’m not at all surprised that you’re constantly busy. I’ll be back in a few weeks to try something else off your wonderful menu to eat in your new garden with a lovely pint and hopefully a friendly dog to stroke while I’m at it!