If you want to find this restaurant, just look for the “split testicle”, said my uncle. I don't actually think that that was the artists original idea, but now I can't look at it and see the Cosmic shape that it's supposed to be. Beautiful it is. It is in honor of Percy Bysshe Shelley, a romantic poet who was born in this very town of Horsham, and who died in the Kingdom of Sardinia (later Italy). I am so smart.
Crompton's is very close to said split testicle. We chose to sit in the cozy bar area, with it's open fire place and lovely atmosphere. I love English pubs and this one is no exception. They had a special Christmas menu, 2 courses for GBP19.95 or 3 courses for GBP24.95. The 3 of us chose 2 courses each and we certainly wouldn't have managed another one. We ordered our food at the bar along with the drinks (GBP4.20 for a pint) and didn't have to wait long for my starter.
I was the only one who had a starter and it was FANTASTIC. It was not very big, but starters are not supposed to be massive.
Paprika Marinated Quail's breast with Blood Pudding and boiled Quails eggs.
The breast was gone in 3 bites, can't say I tasted the paprika, but it was perfectly cooked, soft, juicy and tasty. The quails egg was (obviously) a small egg and the black pudding was a relatively big piece and also tasty. It was accompanied by a watercress and rocket salad and it was peppery spicy. A very good starter.
For the main course, my aunty Wendles had:
Pork loin schnitzel topped with pomodoro sauce and parmesan, and buttered kale.
My aunt enjoyed her meal, with a small complaint being that the kale was VERY al dente. I personally would even go so as far as to say they had possibly forgotten to cook it at all! But it was a beautiful bright green. I had a little taste of the pork schnitzel and it was very pleasant. I personally prefer it smacked a little more so that it's flatter, and I wouldn't need the tomato sauce, but it was tasty.
My uncle and I had:
Slow Braised Shin of Beef, horseradish potato duchess, roasted root vegetables.
For presentation they get 100%. The first impression was that it was going to be a medium portion, but it was huge and we both didn't manage to finish our portions. I must admit that I didn't find the main course as good as the first course. The food was less than lukewarm and if we wanted anything (water, salt and pepper, some more sauce) we had to get up and ask at the bar. I find that slightly irritating – if I'm having bar food, okay, but when I'm paying full whack, then I would like to have food related service.
Back to the food. The root veggies were very good, the duchess potatoes had no horseradish flavor, were cold and the potatoes were definitely from the day before. The green peppercorn sauce was very good, but the meat was...interesting. The flavor was good, but I have never seen shin in this form. It had been cooked then shredded and compressed, a strange / interesting way to serve it. It was also a bit dry, cold and far too much of it. Don't get me wrong, it was nice, but after the starter it was a bit disappointing.
For dessert, Peter had the:
Warm Festive Spiced Orange segments with thyme sorbet.
Again, very nicely presented but they were quite sour. I like the thyme sorbet – something different.
Homemade Belgian Chocolate Yule Log with red berry compote.
Again, presentation was good and so was the log. As for a red berry compote, there was a blob of red berry jam and half a strawberry – very nouvelle cuisine in a downtown English pub!
CONCLUSION: I found the atmosphere super, the service we got was also very good and all the staff were very friendly. The menu was creative and different, which I really appreciate – I like to try things I wouldn't necessarily make at home and this menu enabled me to do that. All in all, we all enjoyed our meals, and the grand atmosphere and the “split testicle” all added to a pleasant Sunday afternoon. Thank you Crompton's – you're a place worth visiting again!
Crompton's At the Olive Branch
Bar and Restaurant