The Big Gay Al's Food Adventures
The review opened with ‘driving along a country track…’ and it was called The Tiger Inn (Matt calls me Tiger so we are drawn to anything to do with tigers) so it was a wonderful and serendipitous find online. With good comments about the food as well, it was decided quickly that would be where we took Mum for lunch.
Driving through the North Downs the views are beautiful. Sometimes with motorway driving you forget how quickly you can be off a main road and into the countryside. A real patchwork of colours with rich verdant green fields and blank tan coloured fields of stubble. I guess a hot dry summer has brought some crops forward here in the well named ‘Garden of England’.
So we are driving along, passing wonderful little villages with rude sounding ancient Anglo Saxon names like Lyminge (pronounced Le Minge – and yes it’s a real place). Telling tales, talking of living in boats and converting churches into homes. Good times indeed.
All at once, it seems like we are going practically off road. Luckily in Matts tank of a car we are kings of the road and no mere single track can intimidate us! Eyes peeled for this pub we are seeking and suddenly we have arrived. Stowting seems to be pretty much The Tiger Inn and visa versa. But what a beautiful little pub it is!!
Heading inside, it is beautiful. Not olde worlde for the sake of it in that pseudo -pub fashion you see so often. Just old and smart and clean. The staff (and the pub dog) were all very friendly and professional, and there was a good mix of regulars and fellow food tourists.
The beer and cider was excellent. It is surprising how few pubs know how to treat a real ale – even in 2014!! The menu chalked up on various boards was a good mix of nibbles, pub grub (baguettes and jacket potatoes) and a more restaurant type menu. It all sounded good and several people around us were noshing away on fabulous looking food so we ordered. We had some tender salt and pepper squid and a smokey tapas board of various meats, fishes and cheese. It was a great combination of savoury and salty flavours – bit of an Unami tsunami on the taste buds!
For mains, mum had Romney Marsh Lamb which was slow cooked to perfection and served with roast potatoes and braised red cabbage. Matt and I both had the Belly Pork served with dauphinois potatoes and apple purée. The pork was simply incredible. Clearly cooked for hours as all the fat had been rendered out. Beautifully tender and moist – almost like a confit – probably double cooked and all the better for it!
There weren’t very many desserts but what was on offer looked fab and we were all very disappointed to be so stuffed that we couldn’t manage one!
All in all, a great find. A real treasure that will leave your eyes and appetites satisfied! We will definitely be back!
Highly recommended *****
You can find The Tiger Inn online here or at:
The Tiger Inn
Kent TN25 6BA
Tel: 01303 862130