The Park

On deciding to go out for lunch and wanting to try somewhere new, The Park at Hillsborough became choice of the day; calling before to reserve a table for three at 1pm. When I arrived at The Park the other members of the party were not yet there, so I waited in the beer garden/car park. The setting is ideal to sit outside on a warm summers day with a cool refreshing drink in the small beer garden, watching the world go by.

When the rest of the party arrived, we headed inside the pub. It was pleasantly decorated and while busy still had a relaxed feel to the place. We were seated at our table which had been freshly cleaned just before our arrival. We looked at the menu to decide what we were going to eat and having skipped breakfast, of course a starter and a main course were due! The menu had lots of variety of typical pub grub that would cater to most tastes.

Trying to decide between the Chicken Tikka Masala and the Triple House Burger, I finally decided on Crispy Potato Skins with Cheese & BBQ pulled pork for starters. For mains: loaded up Chicken Tikka Masala which included basmati rice, poppadoms, mango chutney, naan bread, vegetable samosa, onion bhaji and spinach pakora…not without variety on the plate!

When placing the order we were advised there would be a 40 minute wait for food, not ideal but acceptable as we weren’t in a rush, also giving the chance for old friends to catch up over a drink or two.

Unfortunately after a hour and a half we queried what had happened to our order as it still hadn’t arrived. The staff were apologetic and advised the delay was down to a large party booking that was in at the same time; an understandable situation but the staff should have been pro-active in letting us know that there would be further delay. Managing our expectations would have been a better customer experience here rather than leaving us wondering what was happening.

When the starter finally arrived I couldn’t wait to get stuck in, its smelled divine and was perfectly sized for a starter. The potato skins were crispy and the filling of cheese and BBQ pulled pork was ample.

It was quickly devoured and our main course soon arrived. The smell of the curry was mouth watering, the chicken tender and the spiciness of the masala sauce being just right, a little kick but not too overpowering. The rice was steaming hot and was fluffy and light. The only let down was that the onion bhaji was a little too spicy for my liking, but I’m sure for lovers of spicy food it would hit the spot for them.