Chips are cracking
HEARTY, wholesome and good value fare seem to be licensee Phil McAsey's recipe for success at the reopened Ram Inn.
The pub in South Woodchester was only offering real ales, wines and drinks when it recently relaunched after a short period of closure.
But this New Year it has just started its food service again from a refurbished kitchen with new chef Ryan Parker in charge.
On a quiet, early lunchtime my daughter opted for a brunch-like home-cooked ham, egg and chips, £7.95.
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The chunky chips were declared "really good" and the straightforward meal pleased.
My choice of char-grilled 8oz rump steak, £12.95, was a mixed blessing. But it was my fault.
In my hungry haste I didn't register the "char-grilled" description which, of course, meant it couldn't be served rare as I'd requested and would have preferred.
Still, the red onion relish and red wine sauce did give a nice juicy tang.
The salad was straightforward but generous and fresh and again, the chips were spot on.
The Ram aims to keep its menu to around 10 dishes focusing on freshness and seasonal availability of food.
"So it will always be changing," Mr McAsey said later, after I'd confessed to him we'd made our secret sampling visit.
Examples of other dishes you might find at The Ram include braised lamb shank with creamy mashed potato, £12.95, and rabbit and bacon pie with gravy and seasoned fries, £9.95.
Fashionable tapas are available too and reduce in price the more you consume.
We shared a baby squid, £5, which was crisply battered and ideal as our appetiser.
But if you went whole hog for tapas – flamed olives, fried baby pickles, grilled chorizo and spice apple and devilled whitebait among them – they are £9 for two and £12 for three.
"Since October we've rebuilt the cellar, completely stripped and refurbished the kitchen as well as refitted the bar," Mr McAsey said.
"The support from the locals has been quite literally amazing, we really couldn't have got the pub open quickly without their help," he said.
"From electricians to plumbers, all have been there to help us when we needed them."
Support from the local community has also been outstanding, said Mr McAsey.