Pub review: The Warren, Wokingham

Monday, 21 January 2019 Wokingham, UK

Pub Review: The Warren, Wokingham

Undoubtedly, one of the perks that comes every now and again with blogging is having the opportunity to take family, friends and Jack of course for lovely meals in the name of a review. Sometimes, I have a bit too much fun and take some god-awful photos which I regret the second I sit down to write about it. Other times, however, as pretty as low and warm lighting looks in real life, it can end up looking terrible in those all-important photos.

As much as I'd love to think that most people read my blog posts for my writing, I'm sure it's not true - visuals are everything, if our obsession with Instagram and nice aesthetics are enough to go by. So, I'll start this review with an honest disclaimer: firstly, I had a brilliant time with my family and boyfriend at the Warren in Wokingham*, a food pub that's been popular for a long time with locals.

Pub Review: The Warren, Wokingham
Secondly, I'm sorry to say that the lighting was incredibly difficult to work with - I tried my best, honestly, but there was a harsh, yellow lighting sat right above our table. I didn't want to spend the whole meal trying different angles and basically looking like a dick during our meal, so I accepted this fate, fully aware that I'd offer an explanation in this post. I mean, the key to the best meals are tasty, imaginative and flavourful meals right?  So let's keep that in our minds.

Pub Review: The Warren, Wokingham
And honestly, the food was incredible. For background, The Warren had a big refurbishment in November 2018 and in the process, created a brand-new menu. I was excited to see so much seafood on offer, not something you always see on pub menus, and it isn't horrifically overpriced for it either! 

So, after pouring over the dinner menu for a while, we started off with some drinks and instead of ordering lots of different things to perhaps, you know, get a balanced view of the menu, Jack, myself and my mum all ordered the same thing. We went straight for the Lobster & King Prawn Pot, and it was utterly fabulous. My dad stuck with the theme and chose the Salt and Szechuan Pepper Squid.

It felt like a hands-on but luxurious experience spooning out creamy lobster and prawn cocktail onto mini toasted ciabattas. The pots were jam-packed with crab which was great to see, it's never fun seeing restaurants scrimp on the amount of seafood they put on the plate! I also loved the batter on dad's squid, it was crisp and light with the right amount of spice. 

Pub Review: The Warren, Wokingham
Pub Review: The Warren, Wokingham
There were lots of great options for mains, and yet again, myself, Jack and mum picked the same dish. Objectivity-wise, it probably isn't looking great at this point is it? Next time I'll take people with more varied tastes I guess. Anyway, we all chose the Roasted Pork Belly and Seared Scallops,and I was excited to try out this combination. The dish also came with buttery potato dauphinoise, butternut squash purée, green beans, toasted almonds, crispy crackling and red wine jus. 

The pork belly and scallops were beautifully-cooked, and it was amazing to combine two soft textures together. I loved the tweal of crispy pork crackling on top to add a bit of snap too! The gravy had a really rich, meaty flavour which was a delight. I was rather in love with the dauphinoise too, crispy layers of potato which had a lovely sweet taste to them. Normally, I'm not the biggest fan of potatoes, but these I was totally on board with. Dad had a similar dish, but opted for a juicy-looking rack of lamb with aubergine, red peppers and those heavenly potatoes. 

By this point, we were feeling positivitely stuffed and a bit food drunk. We needed quite a break between our main and dessert - and it was incredibly hard to pick between the options.

Pub Review: The Warren, WokinghamAfter agonising for a long time, I settled on the most indulgent and extra dessert they had, for review purposes of course!! hahaha. This was the Melting Chocolate and Peanut Bomb - I live for peanut butter and everything chocolatey so really, it was quite a natural choice. Served with warm salted caramel sauce, the best bit about the dessert was drizzling the sauce over the beautiful gold-dusted chocolate shell and watching it melt away, revealing a little sticky-toffee pudding at the bottom. The combination of peanut butter cream, sticky toffee, chocolate and caramel was ridiculously indulgent, but hey, I have a huge sweet tooth and I didn't regret it for a second.

Pub Review: The Warren, Wokingham

Jack went for the New York-Style Baked Cheesecake, and it was perfectly creamy, served with a forest fruit compote and cream. Meanwhile, Mum loves her pastries and tried the Pineapple Tart Tatin, which had mango served on top finished with a coconut milk sorbet. Lastly, Dad chose the Chocolate and Raspberry Pudding, which I'd been incredibly close to choosing for myself, and it was equally delicious. Perhaps a lot more refreshing than my heavy and indulgent dessert, but I still don't regret my decision! 

The staff were incredibly polite and friendly throughout the meal, and I couldn't fault the pace of the service - it was just right. Since we went for a meal the week before Christmas, the atmosphere was jolly and festive. We were enjoying seeing various groups having their work Christmas meals, grabbing a few drinks to catch-up and big family get-togethers wearing their party hats! 

I'd say that price-wise, it's not somewhere I would personally visit every week for a meal - it felt more like a place to go for a special occasion or a fancier Sunday lunch. Regardless, the quality of the food, drink and service was top-notch, so if you do pay a visit, it will be money well spent. 

I had a fabulous time with my family and Jack and the food was incredible - I'd highly recommend!

Thanks for reading x 

*This is a collaboration post. I reviewed the Warren in Wokingham in exchange for the delicious meal. For more information, please visit my disclaimer.

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Pub Review: The Warren, Wokingham

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