OUT OF all the major chain restaurants, Hungry Horse always arguably has the most anticipated new menus each season. This is largely down to customers just waiting to see which household favourite will get the mega sized treatment from the chain and this latest menu doesn’t disappoint.
While every opportunity was made to try all aspects of the new menu, time and money, as well as the odd festive menu, got in the way and a few things went untried. All pictures were taken from The Super Mare restaurant in Weston-Super-Mare. Here’s what we thought:
Mocktails have been a growing trend across certain restaurants with a lot of customers looking to try something different to the traditional fizzy drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages. Hungry Horse were arguably one of the bigger players in this and they’ve released a couple more Mocktails for us to try. Their Tropical Breeze is quite nice and despite its fancy name, it basically tastes like Lilt, but with a more yellow colouring. Out of the two, this is definitely the nicer. As you can’t get Lilt in restaurants, this would be worth having if you really like it.
The other creation is a Cranberry and Apple Spritz. This sounds like it could be nice and, if it was fruitier, this would have been. However, being a Spritz, this drink has far too much soda to be enjoyable. It is slightly tangy and looks like Cranberry Juice but the amount of soda leaves it lacking flavour and leaves you disappointed.
Hungry Horse have been a bit lacking in their starters and have only added one new Wintry dish to this section. Soups are definitely the seasonal starter of choice and Hungry Horse have played it safe with a Tomato and Thyme Soup. Despite stating the Thyme, it tastes pretty much like any other Tomato Soup. You can’t taste the Thyme and it certainly doesn’t add anything to the dish. It’s a little smoky and tangy and is completed with some bread and butter. Not the most creative new starter but certainly one for the Soup fans. Price: £2.29.
One of the new areas that Hungry Horse have explored is Hot Dogs. A few restaurants have tried dabbling with them before but were never that creative and never proved to be that much of a hit. Hungry Horse have also done this to an extent with their Hot Dog with Onions but have tried to do something a bit different with their New Yorker Hot Dog. Firstly, they do taste like proper hot dogs which always a good start. The one with Onions comes with chips, BBQ Sauce and Coleslaw and is basically your classic Hot Dog. Price: £5.99.
For the same price you could opt for the New Yorker Hot Dog. Like the Burger or classic Chicken dish, this Hot Dog comes topped with Cheese, Bacon and BBQ Sauce and also comes with Chips and Coleslaw. The only problem with these Hot Dogs though is that the buns fell apart far too easily which made them hard to eat. It felt really unnatural to eat Hot Dogs with a knife and fork but that was the only way to do it unfortunately.
With Hungry Horse famed for its bigger meals. They have also created a Hot Dog for those with a healthier appetite. The Foot Long Hot Dog again tastes like a proper Hot Dog and aims to keep it as traditional as possible. Topped with Tomato Ketchup and Mustard, this Hot Dog can be quite messy but it doesn’t fall apart as much as the smaller two. The Ketchup is really strong but the Mustard only adds a slight kick so don’t be put off by it, unless you have a real aversion to either of them. Unsurprisingly this Hot Dog is rather filling with the amount of Bread involved, but if like your Hot Dogs and bigger meals, this is certainly worth trying. Price: £8.49.
One of the latest pub classics to be given the Hungry Horse treatment is Scampi. There’s nothing particularly new with this dish, there’s just a lot more of it. So if you like your Scampi but have always wanted more on your plate, this is the one for you. Compared to the standard Scampi dish, this Jumbo Whitby Wholetail Scampi dish costs an extra £2 which gives you some more chips but also five more pieces of Scampi, 15 in all. There’s the choice of Garden or Mushy Peas and of course no Scampi dish is complete without the added Lemon and Tartare Sauce dip. Price: £8.49.
Every restaurant has their own pie dish in one form or another. However, there’s not too many restaurants, other than Fish and Chip Shops, that sell the Pie’s close cousin, the Pasty. Well Hungry Horse have taken the plunge and have not only placed a Pasty dish on the menu but, as expected, given it the Hungry Horse treatment. The Mega Pasty is a Cornish style behemoth and comes with Chips and Beans. The pastry is very crisp and crimped thickly which made it slightly hard to get into, the added Gravy pot can help here though. Despite its size, the Beef and Vegetables all tasted nice and replicated the staple dish quite well. For something slightly different that you already know and love, this is definitely for you. Just expect to loosen your belt a couple of notches afterwards. Price: £8.49.
With all this upsizing, there is one new dish that perhaps could have done with the Hungry Horse treatment, their Piri Piri Crispy Chicken Fajitas. Don’t be put off if you’re not a fan of spicy food. Despite the hot sounding name, the Piri Piri actually comes in a separate pot so you can use it as much or as little as you like. The Chicken comes on a skillet with Onions, Peppers and Jalapeños, which again can be avoided if you so choose. All the sauces are separate so it’s very much a DIY Fajita dish which always tend to be the better ones. The crispy Chicken is quite nice and adds something different to the typical Fajita dish. This dish comprises of four Tortillas, Cheese, Sour Cream, Guacamole and ten tender Chicken strips. The strips are also a bit small so you couldn’t really taste them when they’re surrounded by the Tortilla. It is nice enough, but by Hungry Horse’s standards it’s a bit small. Price: £8.99.
When Man vs. Food was at its peak, a lot of restaurants were trying to make obscenely big food challenges for us all to sample. Hungry Horse’s rendition was the Man vs. Burrito. Well that has now been taken off the menu and replaced by a Burrito section and also the Big Plate Special Chilli Beef Burrito. The three Man vs. Burrito flavours; Chilli Beef, Spicy Chicken and BBQ Pulled Pork, are still available but in a more manageable 12″ Tortilla wrap. For those who want a little more you can double up on the Chilli Beef with the Big Plate Special version. For an extra £2, you can get a second 12″ Tortilla wrap filled with Beef, Cheese, Rice, Beans and Lettuce. They’re topped with Salsa and Jalapeños and completed with some plain Nachos. This dish is rather doughy and could arguably do with some more sauce to prevent any dryness which would make it easier to finish off. Apart from the difference in size, it’s no different to the previous Burrito dish so if you did attempt the challenge and enjoy it, you’ll like these smaller portions. Price: £8.99.
Perhaps one of the nicest home-made dishes you associate with this time of year is the filled Giant Yorkshire Pudding. The Monster Yorkshire Pudding is another home favourite to be given the Hungry Horse treatment in what is basically a feast of Bangers and Mash meeting Toad in the Hole. This bowl of a Yorkshire Pudding holds five Sausages and a pound of Mash Potato and is smothered in Gravy. If that wasn’t enough, there’s another jug of the good stuff to make sure that everything is swimming in it and nothing goes dry. The Mash was very creamy but a pound of it is a lot to handle. You definitely don’t need a three course meal with this as this is a huge belly buster. But an extremely nice one. Price: £8.99.
Perhaps the best value for money dessert you’ll get this season is Hungry Horse’s Frozen Strawberry Yoghurt. The menu states you’ll only get one scoop of Frozen Yoghurt but both times that we ordered this we got three. The Berries are quite tangy and it’s quite clear why the Americans have really fell in love with this dessert recently. If anything, this Frozen Yoghurt tastes like Strawberry Milkshake. If you’re looking after the pounds but still have some room for dessert, this should take your pick. Price: £1.99.
One of the more inventive new desserts is the Jam Donut Pudding. Hungry Horse have attempted to turn the fairground and supermarket snack dessert into a restaurant dish, and it does look quite clever. Surrounded by Custard, this dessert consists of a Jam Doughnut topped by two mini Sugar Ring Doughnuts. It’s served warm and tastes rather spongey. It’s a nice idea but still looks slightly out of place. Could be a good inspiration for a cheap home-made dessert though. Price: £4.99.
The sickliest pudding combination has to come in the form of Hungry Horse’s Cookie Brownie Rocky Road Stack. This is a pure chocoholic’s dream and contains a mixture of three of everyone’s most favourite desserts; a Cookie, Chocolate Brownie and Rocky Road. If all that wasn’t enough, the combination is covered in a rich chocolate sauce. The Rocky Road is really hard which is tough to bite into but it is nice and crunchy. The Cookie and Brownie are contrastingly soft and slightly melted. To complete this monster pudding, there’s a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream as well. You’ll never have to choose again as you can have all three with this new sickly, but really nice, dessert. Price: £4.99.