The Crooked Billet
2 Westbrook End, Newton Longville, Milton Keynes MK17 0DF
Telephone : 01908 373936
Friends and family will often comment that a restaurant has been beautifully refurbished. Our first reply is normally “What about the food?” There has been a definite rise in the number of classy looking venues in Milton Keynes, but unfortunately, some are unable to match their fancy décor with the food they serve. For that reason we were rather pleased to see The Crooked Billet not only looks beautiful after a recent refurbishment – but the food they serve is excellent too.
It is obvious a lot of money has been spent on this establishment. The inviting quality leather sofas next to the large open fire-place leave you planning a night out with friends before you have even left! The low, beamed ceilings, clever lighting and highly attractive flooring all combine cleverly to create a very stylish and comfortable setting.
Creative pub fayre with a touch of class
We perused what is ultimately an interesting menu containing some traditional British classics and were immediately drawn to the ‘Build Your Own Sharing Platter’ section. We might as well tell you now that if you fancied a quick bite and visited the Crooked Billet to sample these alone, it would be totally understandable! You can choose 3 for just £13.95. These must be hugely popular for those out having a leisurely pint and wanting to enjoy some quality food too.
Works a treat
We firstly chose the Pork belly bites, roasted apple sauce. The Short rib bon bons, red pepper ketchup were next and finally we opted for the Pork Scotch egg, homemade brown sauce. The pork belly bites (there are 4 of them) might sound simple but my guest and I immediately looked at each other in the hope that rather than share two each, one of us might get away with a 3-1 win? No such luck!
The crackling was just perfect – incredibly crispy and packed with flavour. The pork underneath was so soft, and the homemade apple sauce was simply a delight.
I was intrigued to see how the short rib bons bons had been prepared. They looked great and were oozing with flavour. What is interesting here is that it would have been easy to serve this alongside a BBQ sauce. However, the Crooked Billet don’t do easy – they offer you a delightful red pepper ketchup. This fresh tasting sauce works a treat.
We felt like we were doing a disservice to the Scotch egg that waited patiently at the side. Could the Scotch egg make it a hat-trick of tasty nibbles to start? Yes! And easily so! This was again cooked brilliantly and a word or two has to be given to the homemade brown sauce. We love you!
For mains I opted for the Confit duck leg, wholegrain mustard mash, braised red cabbage, jus. These are classic ingredients but I was praising the kitchen for the way everything on the plate was prepared. In particular, the wholegrain mustard mash was brilliant, tasty with a perfectly smooth and soft texture. And the jus? Wow!
My guest opted for the Billet ale battered catch of the day (cod). Triple cooked chips, pea puree and tartar sauce. I commented that this was one of the better looking dishes of this type I had seen. The superlatives continued with almost every bite. The fish was superb and again – cooked so well. The chips were extremely flavoursome and the pea puree was lovely.
10 out of 10
Up until now you may have gathered – the food was sublime. We were then greeted with a 10 out of 10 dessert. Unfortunately this was on the specials – so there is no guarantee it will be available on the day you visit. However, if the chance is offered, you simply have to order the Hot Chocolate Fudge Brownie with Honeycomb. Once more – the kitchen had produced a relatively simple sounding dish but excelled in serving something that really was to die for. Fantastic.
A young and highly skilled kitchen are given licence to be creative on a daily basis. The ‘Specials’ at The Crooked Billet are certainly worth keeping an eye on. We cannot wait to return.