The Anchor, Ripley (Surrey) – Reviewed  

Set in the idyllic town of Ripley, Surrey, The Anchor is a gleaming example of a restaurant which takes the freshest natural produce and nurtures them to the plate.  This wonderfully elegant and yet homely and warm, pub restaurant was re-designed and re-imagined by the owners of Michelin Star winning Drakes Restaurant in 2013. The pub serves Steve Drake’s version of pub food, with a team led by manager Iain McArthur and head chef Michael Wall-Palmer. However, the food here has won awards of its own and sits with 2AA Rosettes under its belt.006_Food_01_14_Anchor-Ripley -23Jan_13331333

On first glance of the menu, head chef Mike Wall-Palmer passion for food really translates into a refined and yet satisfying dining experience. He says “To obtain the very best from each ingredient, you need to treat it with the care and respect it deserves. I really love cooking and am enjoying what we have created here at The Anchor.”

From the outset we knew we were in for a real treat. We started with the “Puffed pork skin and baked apple sauce” (£4.50 – pictured below). The puffed skin was packed full of gorgeous pork flavours and the apple sauce perfectly cut through it to make for a surprisingly light tasting dish. A beautiful way to start the meal and we have already told people we know about it. The starters were also delightfully delicate; we had the braised chicken wings, chorizo and mushroom puree and a flavoursome leek and potato soup, topped with radish and truffle oil. Both dishes sounding understated on the menu, yet they were both dancing with natural, fresh and vibrant flavours. At this point in the meal it was clear that a lot of care and love when into the food here.

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The mains were similarly an exercise in simple, fine and detailed food. Slow cooked duck leg, savoy cabbage, mash potato and liquorice (image at top) sauce tickled my fancy from the moment I read the menu. Having never had liquorice sauce I was really happy to see that it married perfectly with the rest of the dish and bought out the richness of the duck. A fabulous dish. My partner’s venison burger with plum ketchup was also a fantastic option. Both dishes however offered slight twists, in the plum ketchup and liquorice sauce, which gave the meal a unique identity and wow factor.

Take a look at the rest of the menu below.

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The staff were fantastic also, it must be said, and gave us and everyone else a warm welcome. On having the chocolate parfait for dinner we were enthusiastically informed about the matching desert wine on offer here and left with a real sense that The Anchor is a pub restaurant with a difference, with heart and with a true passion for creating the best dining experience possible. We cannot wait to return.

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