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Lava Rock’s on Castle Street (park down by the castle, which can also be visited) and has been gathering good reviews and awards since it opened four years ago. With the kitchen open to the main room of the restaurant, we could see the attention to detail and that showed too on the appetising plates. Lunch was very enjoyable and I’m sure that the evening meals would be even more so.
Choices aren't as expansive in the middle of the day but still they had plenty to offer. One section is called Express. From it you may order Soup of the Day and various sandwiches (Chicken Strip or Pulled Beef for example).
The main lunch menu has a few more substantial dishes including Fish and Chips, Roast Chicken Supreme, and Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Tortellini.
We went for the beef, the Slow Braised Beef Rib in my case. It came with baked potato mash and seasonal vegetables, very well cooked and full of attractive flavour, a delicious jus and a crunchy selection of crunchy vegetables (carrot, baby corns and sugar snaps).
CL’s pick was the Char-grilled Burger, packed with excellent beef in a brioche bun. Red cheddar cheese, burger sauce of course, lettuce and the outstanding roast beetroot slaw completed an attractive plateful. And in addition, the chunky house fries were delicious.
They don't have a bar here but you may bring your own wine. We asked for a cordial, maybe something like an Elderflower fizz. They didn’t have that nor did they have the Apple Farm’s outstanding sparkling apple juice but they did have their still apple juice and that too is a lovely drink at mid-day on a warm Wednesday. The nearby Apple Farm, by the way, would be our final visit on the way home and we left with a box full of drinks, jams, fruits and more. Read about that day-trip here.
But back to the lunch and the sweet finalé. I enjoyed my Baked Strawberry Alaska (with strawberry cream, marinated strawberries and lemon curd), soft and lush and an overall delight.
CL’s Rhubarb Almond Tart was another well presented dessert (that attention to detail again) andserved with orange crème anglaise and vanilla ice cream, another sweet winner.
This restaurant is just a few minutes off the motorway and you may also linger in the town. If you are early for lunch, why not visit the castle? Check my account here. And if you’d like to walk off those desserts afterwards, stroll down to the nearby and rather famous Swiss Cottage - read my short account here.