Craft & Cleaver
The Hub, Milton Keynes MK9 2FB
Phone: 01908 990888
Craft & Cleaver have only been open a short while. It is remarkable the team here are already so knowledgeable about the food and drink they are serving. We never once felt rushed to make our choices and enjoyed some friendly advice when discussing some of the options available. In short, the service enhanced what was already a memorable dining experience.
Warm, trendy, stylish and intimate with a bustling atmosphere; welcome to Craft & Cleaver at The Hub in Central Milton Keynes. You cannot help but fall in love with this venue the moment you walk through its doors. With a social feel, and diners of all ages, Craft & Cleaver offer you the chance to sample a menu inspired by road trips across the USA.
All the meats are smoked on imported wood smokers. I started by ordering the House-cured-bacon. Thick cut pork belly, house cure, bourbon & apple jelly, cracklings. This dish was presented superbly well, with far more finesse than I was expecting. It wouldn’t have looked out of place in a fine-dining establishment. As well as the venue, I was now in love with the food too. I adored the smokiness in the bacon and loved the apple jelly. This is of course, a classic combination of flavours, but this harmonious dish was executed superbly well.
My guest was surprised by the size of her starter. She liked the sound of the smoked aubergine but opted instead for the halloumi, mozzarella and sweetcorn fritters, served with chilli jam. The fritters were far bigger than expected, yet it was not long before the plate was left squeaky clean. This is a fresh, clean tasting dish. The fritters have a lovely firm crust and a delightfully soft centre. This was an impressive start to our dining experience.
Couldn’t get enough
Cow & chicken was my choice for main course. Described as smoked beef brisket, buttermilk fried chicken & XXL Brooklyn wings. This arrives on a large silver tray, served with 50/50 fries, buttermilk slaw and house pickles. I found the flavours from the buttermilk chicken amazing. The Brooklyn wings possessed a lovely spicy kick and brisket added another dimension to the dish. The 50/50 fries, half being sweet potato and the other half, traditional fries, were excellent. The fresh tasting slaw also needs a mention, as I couldn’t get enough of this.
My guest chose Smokey bean chilli. Smoked squash, smokey bean chilli, coconut & avocado ranch, mixed leaves & house-fried tortilla chips. This was a generously portioned dish with an impressive assortment of flavours. It was pleasantly spiced too, giving my guest a warm, hug me flavour. Although Craft & Cleaver is fast gaining a reputation for their array of quality, tasty smoked meats; equal attention has been given to their vegetarian dishes.
Just too good
We finished by sharing the Fudge brownie sundae. Warm chocolate brownie pieces, chocolate fudge sauce, salted caramel white chocolate ice cream, whipped cream, pretzel pieces. At this point, although I was pretty full, I wanted this dessert all to myself. My guest stated they would only try a spoonful. The problem with this dessert was it was just too good. One spoonful lead to two, to three and many more. I was not happy! To state this sundae was delicious would be an understatement.