review by Sarah Ali Choudhury
I’ve been married for almost 19 years to my husband Ramjan, and we have four beautiful children. Between us we lead very busy lifestyles and so very rarely do we get the chance to go out for dinner, even with kids.
To my delight, Janine, the editor of 4Dorset, asked if I would like to review The Kings Arms in Longham for the upcoming publication, which made me feel very excited.
The philosophy at the Kings Arms is ‘to serve only the highest quality food, prepared by award winning chefs.’ They have been voted Best Dining Pub in the Taste of Dorset Awards and were also ‘Recommended’ on Trip Advisor and had received a Certificate of Excellence. It isn’t very easy to achieve that from Trip Advisor, so I was impressed before I got through the door.
We were greeted by friendly staff and shown to our table, which was a good-size for the six of us.
The surroundings at The Kings Arms are aesthetically pleasing, similar to a Victorian dining room with an artistic vibe. A big fireplace contains a large wood burner, while a big, wooden-framed mirror on the wall, candles on the table, and lamps strategically placed give a homely feel.
My husband, Ramjan, described the restaurant as very comfortable, easy going and relaxing.
We were given two menus, one of which was a 2/3-course lunchtime and early bird deal menu and the other was the à la carte.
I ordered calamari for my starter, while Ramjan chose the duck parcels served with hoisin sauce and salad. Although we had starters, we requested all the food to be served together… don’t forget, we had been accompanied by our four children!
Between us we ordered Chicken Supreme with fries and coleslaw, two Catch of the Day, which was Cod Loin with sautéed potatoes, greens and Romesco sauce as well as fish goujons with chips and peas for the younger ones.
The food arrived soon enough. The calamari and duck parcels were placed in the middle of table for all to share. Not a great choice for the children, I admit, but the portion sizes were not huge, so it worked out well.
Hannah, my eldest looked very pleased at the sight of her supreme chicken dish. Cooked on the bone with a slightly crispy skin, it was accompanied with fries and homemade slaw, which had a hint of purple, adding colour, texture and creating a visually appealing dish.
The fish goujons were freshly prepared with juicy chunks of cod that had been lightly battered and served with gourmet fries and peas. I always find the children’s dishes very cute, but this was so generously portioned, I wondered if they would be able to finish it all.
Our immaculately dressed Catch of the Day arrived. The fish was remarkably succulent. The greens were broccoli, tenderstem broccoli and courgettes. The cod was garnished with thin slices of baby courgette. I cut into the fish and the perfectly cooked cod flaked into the delicious Romesco sauce. The tenderstem broccoli and sautéed potatoes
went very well with the fish. The sauce was moreish and it was again, a very generous sized dish.
The management at the Kings Arms have selected a list of 35 world wines, 17 of which can be ordered by the glass. Their award-winning red wines are particularly chosen to complement the beef they serve. Also on tap are three real ales and a traditional cider, there are continental lagers such as San Miguel and Peroni on draught.
Even though we were full, we couldn’t resist ordering dessert and we chose the steamed syrup sponge pudding with custard, and the chocolate fondant, served with caramel sauce and, honeycomb crumb and Chantilly cream to share. The syrup sponge was heavy and comforting with the warm custard.
The chocolate fondant was nothing less than divine. The aroma of the warm chocolate fondant made us all want to order another six. The Chantilly cream was the perfect accompaniment for it too. Comments from my children describing the absolutely delicious dessert included, “Just amazing,” “scrumptious” and “probably the best I’ve ever tasted.”
I think it’s fair to say that impressing children these days is a bit of task, so you can only imagine how wonderful this really was!
The attentive staff were very hospitable and it is no surprise that they have been successful in achieving awards in excellence.
We look forward to going back again soon in the knowledge that this is a family-friendly pub with a great menu.