We decided to pop to The Lunar Hare one Monday lunchtime, after wanting to visit for a meal since it first opened. Especially after visiting a few times for coffee and cake, which has always been delicious.
It was quite quiet on the day we went, but I think that is because it was a Monday early lunchtime. There were some business men using the restaurant for a meeting and some other couples came to dine after we arrived.
We were taken straight to a table by our waitress for the day, Florence, who was very smiley and friendly. I ordered a water and my friend ordered a diet coke.
The restaurant has a funky cool theme, with an eclectic range of tables and chairs. The kitchen wall is completely open on the dining room side, so the chefs can be watched whilst they work.
After being given time to peruse the menu, Florence returned to take our order. It was difficult to order because I am currently attending Dawn Breakers, which is a daily High Intensity Workout with associated diet, and I have a diet sheet that I must adhere to. So after a long think, I chose the Rib Eye Steak with Wild Mushrooms (£16), but asked if I could have the creamy mashed potato changed to crushed potatoes without butter or cream. The waitress checked with the kitchen staff, who agreed. I asked for the steak to be cooked Medium, but iterated I did not want it bleeding, just pink.
My friend ordered the Lunar Hare Beef Burger and Chips, but our waitress returned to tell us that they had sold out, and so he chose the Ploughmans (£9.50) instead. He asked for a normal pickle and not a piccalilli as suggested on the menu. However, the kitchen staff did not have a replacement and so my friend asked for it to be served without piccalilli.
There was a small wait for the food, and it was interesting to watch the kitchen work, knowing that it was our food they were preparing. It was really cool to see the jus being tasted for my lunch, as it was being plated up; it felt really inclusive and interactive.
The food arrived and we were both taken aback – the plates were beautiful.
My steak sat proudly atop a good serving of crushed potatoes and wild mushrooms, with a glossy jus around the whole plate. I cut the steak in the middle to see how it was cooked, and it was perfect for me, exactly as I had asked. I tried a piece of the meat first and it was tender and juicy and perfectly seasoned. The jus was rich and flavoursome and the potatoes perfectly cooked with herbs and seasoning. The wild mushrooms were tender and meaty. An absolutely lovely meal and possibly the best steak I have ever had out locally.
My friend’s ploughmans was a work of art. He commented that he was used to a chunk of cheese, some ham, pickle and salad, which he would use his hands to devour. This was not like that; this was something of a delicacy, a refined version of the classic. The slate tile came loaded with fresh ham and beef cold cuts, slices of cheese, crusty fresh bread, salad, mustard mayonnaise and celariac purée, carefully put together rather than simply ‘dropped on’ to the plate.
He said, “The bread was crusty and fresh with tender beef and beautiful sweet ham. The smoked cheese is always better than non smoked and, for me, it makes a ploughmans. The mustard mayonnaise and celariac purée were a real treat and took the meal to another level.”
We would normally have a pudding or a starter when we come out for lunch but we were both so absolutely full from the main courses that we couldn’t eat another thing.
The total bill came to £29 including 3 soft drinks, which for a lunchtime jaunt out is not too bad at all.