Waggon and Horses

Eight months ago the Waggon and Horses pub in Surbiton underwent a major refurbishment and changed a Thai menu. My husband and I checked it out with a Saturday night dinner.

Waggon and Horses exterior

The front of the pub is divided between a bar with plenty of standing room and a large comfortable room with leather sofas and a large screen television.

Now I have to apologise for the next two photos, my camera didn’t cope well with the low lighting in the pub.

Waggon and Horses bar area

Go straight through the pub area and you are greeted with a short flight of stairs theatrically dressed with gold curtains. Through the curtains is the new Thai restaurant. A tented ceiling, wood panelling and Thai decorations create a superb dining room. It’s a charming, intimate space that’s suitable for a ‘date night.’

Waggon and Horses dining area

A real tuk tuk, three sided multi-coloured booths and lots of other cute embellishments make the Al Fresco dining area in back super appealing, though difficult to photograph after sunset.

Waggon and Horses outdoor seating area

The menu has all your favourite Thai dishes plus a few choices from other parts of Asia. All food is prepared fresh on site.

The service is friendly and welcoming. Manager Meena was able to offer plenty of assistance with the menu options.

We nibbled on Thai Spicy Prawn Crackers with Sweet Chilli Dip £2.50 before our meal.

Waggon and Horses prawn crackers

For starters we decided on a sharing platter, Kingfisher Platter Tempura Prawns, Thai Fish Cakes, Steamed Dim Sum, Sesame Prawn Toast, Crispy Salt & Pepper Squid with Sweet Chilli and Satay Sauce £12.95 We thoroughly enjoyed all of them, the little mystery dim sum was lovely and the squid was top notch.

Waggon and Horses starter platter

For mains Jman was immediately drawn to the five chilli pepper symbol beside the Infamous Jungle Curry with fresh Red Chilli, Bamboo Shoots, Green Beans, Peppers, Thai Aubergine, Holy Basil, Wild Ginger and Lime Leaf with Beef £8.95. At the bottom of the menu, diners are warned that the five chilli pepper dishes are “only for the brave.” Infamous and brave are apparently words he looks for in a dinner and he ordered it immediately. It arrived steaming hot.

I watched him eat, he drank quite a bit of water with it but naturally won’t acknowledge that fact now. He says it was spicy but not overly hot. However he did eat it all and enjoyed it, it had lots of flavour beyond just being spicy.

Waggon and Horses Infamous jungle curry

Naturally I wasn’t going to share in the five chilli dish so we elected not to share out dishes. I chose the two chilli pepper Bangkok’s famous Red Curry with Lime Leaf, Coconut Milk,Thai Sweet Basil, Peppers and Pineapple with Tiger Prawns £9.50. It was tasty, not at all heavy and filled with plenty of nice, fresh vegetables along with the tiger prawns.

Waggon and Horses Thai red curry

We also had a couple of side dishes. The Coconut Infused Rice £2.95 was noticeably coconutty (unlike many places) and not stodgy.

Waggon and Horses coconut rice

The Stir-fried Broccoli, Green Beans, Carrot and Mangetout with Light Soy Sauce £3.50 were great, perfectly cooked and we actually ate them all.

Waggon and Horses vegetables in oyster sauce

For dessert we elected to share the Lotee Sai Mapraw Warm Pandan Pancake with Sweetened Coconut, drizzled with Honey with Almond, Pistachio & Cardamon Ice Cream £5.50. This was a perfect dessert, nice and light, not too sweet and a great palate cleanser. It was a large portion and more than enough for both of us.

Waggon and Horses Lotee Sai Mapraw Thai pancake dessert

We really enjoyed our dinner at the Waggon and Horses. The decor and atmosphere in the restaurant is a notch above most pub dining areas and the food matches the surroundings.

Authentic Pub Co. is a small group of eight pubs, with other Surrey locations in Epsom, Sunbury on Thames, Hampton, Norbiton and Worplesdon.

Waggon and Horses, 1 Surbiton Hill Road, Surbiton, Surrey, KT6 4TW
http://www.waggonandhorsessurbiton.co.uk/
Street parking.

We were guests of Waggon and Horses but this is no way biased my review.

Naturally Chinese Restaurant

Intrigued by Naturally Chinese Restaurant’s boasts of healthy Chinese food, my husband and our two kids visited for my second birthday dinner (I know, right).

Far beyond claims of no MSG, Naturally Chinese in Surbiton, set menus have been put together with the aid of nutritionists for feel good, detox and natural balance. There’s a huge number of vegetarian dishes as well as a large gluten free menu.

Naturally Chinese Restaurant exterior

Inside is huge. The back corner (pictured) is the most charming section of the restaurant. That big circular table in the corner under the huge light well is the prized place you want to sit, unfortunately our server wouldn’t let me sit there.

Naturally Chinese Restaurant interior

The menu is large and enticing, a mix of some standards and some more interesting sounding dishes. I would have liked more direction from our server in the way of recommendations but eventually we narrowed down our selections.

To start, Jman and daughter 1 shared the tasting platter with raw mixed vegetable salad, marinated chicken satay skewers, spare ribs in capital sauce, crispy prawn rolls, shredded chicken smoked with beechwood £17.80. I, of course, helped them eat it. One taste of the smoked chicken and it was impossible to resist going back for more.

Naturally Chinese Restaurant tasting platter

For starters, daughter two and I shared the Steamed dim sum platter crystal prawn dumplings, prawn and chive dumplings, spicy mixed vegetable dumplings, salmon dumplings with grounded peppercorns £11.20 (prepared on site). They were lovely and light with no shortage of flavour.

Naturally Chinese Restaurant steamed dim sum platter

In typical Chinese fashion, we shared several dishes for the main course.

I chose Chicken with shredded sweet peppers, spring onions and fresh chilli in satay sauce £7.90 This was absolutely delicious, the chicken was tender and moist and the flavours were great.

Naturally Chinese Restaurant chicken with shredded peppers in satay sauce

Jman chose a more traditional Crispy shredded beef £8.10. It might not have fit with my healthy Chinese restaurant choice but it sure was tasty.

Naturally Chinese Restaurant crispy shredded beef

Wanting vegetables for my family, I ordered Pak choy £6.40 stir fried in fresh garlic flakes. I was the only one that ate any. I love love pak choy and that’s exactly what it was.

Naturally Chinese Restaurant pak choy in garlic sauce

Lastly we had an order of Special fried rice £6.60 peass, shrimps and roast pork and chicken. Yep, very nice special fried rice with good quality ingredients.

Naturally Chinese Restaurant special fried rice

They did have some interesting sounding desserts but a birthday cake was waiting for me at home.

Overall I enjoyed the Natural Chinese Restaurant and would like to return for Dim Sum (they even run Dim Sum classes, if you want to make your own). It was definitely a cut above your bog standard Chinese.

59-63 Brighton Road, Surbiton, Surrey, KT6 5LR
www.naturallychineserestaurant.co.uk/
Street parking

The French Tarte

We love The French Table so when Ann’s car needed an MOT in Surbiton we decided to lunch at its baby sister, The French Tarte. It’s snuggled up against big sister on the elegant Maple Road in Surbiton. Street pay parking.

Opened by the owners of The French Table in 2011, The French Tarte is a stylish cafe that bakes its bread, pastries and cakes on site every morning.

The pavement in front is broad with mature trees and provides a pleasant setting for some outdoor tables.

The French Tarte

Once we drooled our way past the display case full of goodies that greets you at the door, we took a seat at one of the marble topped tables. It’s a fairly basic interior but pleasant nonetheless.

The French Tarte

When we visited there was a nice amount of buzz, without it being overly loud or crowded.

Service is good. As a bonus we had a real live French waitress.

The menu features many interesting twists on the standard fare. In true European style, each menu item has two prices, to stay or take away.

Marie opted for a baguette with tuna, sweetcorn and wasabi nuts. It arrived cutely wrapped in a bow. The bread was lovely but the wasabi was difficult to detect. She got halfway through before remembering they were there. Overall at £3.55 (for the eat in price) it was worth every penny.

The French Tarte tuna baguette

Ann had the quiche of the day, vegetable and blue cheese. She wasn’t sure if that’s a garnish or a salad. It either needed more greens or a smaller plate. It tasted good, only a hint of blue cheese.

The French Tarte quiche

The treats on display were too tempting for our willpower. Everything looked so yummy we struggled to choose. In the end we elected to share an eclair and an apple & apricot tarte. Delicious! They really hit the spot as we were still a bit peckish after our mains.

The French tarte tea

If you’re in the neighbourhood The French Tarte is a great spot for breakfast, lunch or an afternoon treat. The residents of Surbiton (and now also Teddington) are lucky to have such a nice local cafe.

Menu 4
Food 4
Decor/Ambiance 3
Service 3
Value 5
Total 19/25

83 Maple Rd, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 4AW
www.thefrenchtarte.co.uk

Square Meal