ONE OF the later chains to release their Spring Menu was Hungry Horse. The part of the menu that Hungry Horse have invested more in is their Desserts but there are a few more meals that have been given the famous Big Plate Special treatment. All pictures have been taken from The Super Mare restaurant in Weston-Super-Mare.
The only starter that Hungry Horse have added to their menu is the Caesar Salad. Salad starters are growing in popularity in America with the ‘Iceberg’ starter and it seems that restaurants over here are beginning to follow suite. They could be on to something as this Caesar Salad is a really nice starter. With healthy eating on the minds of a lot of people at the moment, meals out are definitely seen as a treat and nobody wants to be treating themselves to a Salad. So this starter could be seen as a compromise. The Cos Lettuce was fresh and crisp and practically tasteless underneath the vast amounts of Cheese shavings and Caesar Dressing. It is surprisingly quite filling as it is quite a big starter and the Croutons add a nice crunch too. It would be a little bland if this was a main but as a starter this is really nice and a healthy option before tucking into your calorific main. For an extra 49p you can add slices of Chicken to bulk this Salad up further but it was good enough to have without. Price: £3.99.
If you’re visiting for a spot of lunch, Hungry Horse have added a couple of new Sub Sandwiches to their menu. Everyone loves a meaty Club Sandwich and Hungry Horse have delivered. There’s tender Chicken, Bacon and Cheese along with Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion and Mayonnaise. Now although a Club Sandwich is traditionally a Triple Decker Sandwich, this is a really nice meal with a soft, floury Sub Roll. It’s quite filling too which is always good for a lunch meal at a restaurant. Price: £4.79 (£5.79 with Chips).
For Vegetarians, there’s the new Grilled Halloumi Sandwich. The Halloumi is accompanied by Sweet Chilli, roasted Peppers and Red Onions. It’s a really Cheesy tasting Sub that oozes out with every bite. The Peppers and Red Onions give the Sandwich a crunch that apposes the melted Halloumi nicely. Again it’s a very filling Sandwich on a really nice Roll that’s perfect for lunch. Price: £4.79 (£5.79 with Chips)
Hungry Horse have gone international with most of their new mains. With platters becoming more and more popular, as people are enjoying either sharing dishes together or picking at different elements of a dish, they’ve added an American Platter to the menu. American Platters are also becoming quite common in restaurants with Barbecue flavours being the main enticement. But Hungry Horse have created a slightly unique version with the inclusion of Corn Bread. Corn Bread is quite the delicacy across the pond and this is the first UK version to be sold in the chain restaurants. It’s billed as a Jalapeño Corn Bread but there’s no heat to it and it just tastes like a Cake Sponge, which to many will feel rather odd to have with a main but it is nice and soft. Included in this platter is the popular BBQ Pulled Pork but there’s also the up and coming trend; sliced smoked Brisket. With BBQ Pulled Pork going down so well over here, a lot of places are starting to also bring Brisket to us but it can be very dry and chewy if not done right. It was slightly chewy here and needed to be smothered in sauce in order to taste quite nice. You also get a Beef, Pork & Jalapeño Sausage which adds a slight kick but not as much as the three Frank’s Red Hot Chicken Fingers. If you’re not a fan of heat then you probably won’t enjoy these parts of the platter but the BBQ Chicken Wings were quite smoky and flavourful. The platter is served with their new Sweet Potato Fries, which are now available as a side order, as they have also become a popular trend. It is also accompanied by the standard American sides; Coleslaw, BBQ Beans and Corn on the Cob. It’s a big dish with a lot of different flavours and although it is quite pricey, it’s a very nice new platter. Price: £12.49.
If you’re a fan of things South of the American border, then you can try Hungry Horse’s new Taco Feast. It’s billed as having four stand-alone Tacos, although we were only served three, with the only thing inside being a Lettuce base. From there you could load the Tacos up with BBQ Pulled Pork, Chilli Beef, BBQ Beans and Cheese. There’s more Lettuce on the side that’s topped with Jalapeños, Sour Cream, Guacamole and Salsa which you can also put into your Tacos. Again this is quite a big dish with a lot of elements but be prepared for it to get messy. The Tacos did seem a little stale though and offered a softer crunch than expected. There was a good supply of everything else and it was all really flavourful. Hopefully the stale-tasting shells were a one-off as this will probably be quite a popular dish, especially for you fans of the Mexican cuisine. Alongside this you also get a bucketful of Sweet Potato Fries. Price: £9.99.
Curries have been in and out of the Hungry Horse menu ever since time began and their Wednesday Curry and a Pint deal has always proved popular. They’re now back on the main pages of the menu with five Curries; Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Korma, Beef Madras, Hot Chicken Tikka Masala and Tandoori Veg Masala, to choose from. At £6.99, these Curries are served with Pilau Rice, a Poppadom and Mango Chutney. However you can upgrade to a Big Plate Special Curry at £9.49 to have yourself a real Indian feast. With the Big Plate Special you get an extra Poppadom but also a Naan Bread to dip into your selected Curry. As well as Mango Chutney you also get a Yoghurt & Mint Dip which goes extremely well with the three Onion Bhajis that accompany the dish. It’s also finished off with Chips. The Onion Bhajis are quite big but taste like the party ones you can get from Supermarkets. This is really good as some of the bigger Onion Bhajis can taste really dry inside but these were soft despite their crunchy outer layer and quite flavourful. The Naan Bread was a little dry and tough but once dipped in the Curry or side sauces it didn’t really matter. This is a really filling dish and although it’s hard to transport the Rice into the bowl of Curry without it going everywhere, it’s definitely one the best Indian dishes in chain restaurants. There’s a lot of Chicken pieces in both the Korma and Tikka which were very tender and the Rice ratio was perfect which meant you weren’t left with just dry tasting plain Rice at the end.
Whilst Indian meals have long been made by many pubs and restaurants, Chinese meals haven’t been as successful or popular. But Hungry Horse have attempted to break the mould with their Sweet & Sour Chicken and it’s actually a really good attempt. As expected, it’s a bit of a feast as the Sweet & Sour Chicken and accompanying Egg Fried Rice are joined by a large Spring Roll, three pieces of Prawn Toast and a handful of Prawn Crackers. The Spring Roll is crisp and the Prawn Toast tastes exactly how it should, crispy on the edge with a soft centre. The Chicken is tender and the sauce doesn’t taste too vinegary which is where a lot of Sweet & Sour dishes fall down. There’s a lot of elements within this dish but it could easily be a meal from a Chinese restaurant but at arguably a snip of the price. Price: £9.49.
Continuing with the Asian theme, Hungry Horse’s new Vegetarian Burger is the Asian Vegetable Burger. Made with Quinoa and Vegetables, this Burger comes in a very crispy shell which doesn’t fall apart like many Veggie Burgers do. The shell actually keeps this Burger boiling hot and is like biting into Chicken Burger except this is a lot thicker. It doesn’t really taste of much but it does taste quite and is very filling. There’s a bit of spice to it but it’s only a slight kick that builds over time. It’s not overpowering and actually adds to the flavour. It’s served with a Sweet Chilli Dip and their usual accompaniment of Chips. It’s a really nice Veggie Burger that fills you up and is definitely worth trying for the Vegetarians amongst you. Price: £5.99 (£6.99 for a double Burger).
This is where Hungry Horse have invested more creativity with the aim of bringing out the inner child inside you. They continue to try and cash in on the latest trends with their new Salted Caramel & Chocolate Popcorn Tart. It’s very sickly but an extremely moreish cake that’s served with a scoop of Chocolate Ice Cream smothered in Chocolate Sauce and topped with even more Popcorn. The Popcorn adds a nice crunch to this soft, slightly melted, Chocolate tart. The Salted Caramel isn’t very Salty which is a good thing as you don’t want to take any sweetness away from this dish. It’s certainly one for the chocoholics. Price: £4.99.
For those who enjoy their Ice Cream, the new Bubblegum Scramble Sundae will be very eagerly anticipated. Alongside a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream, you get two scoops of Bubblegum Ice Cream which, if you’ve never tried, is really sweet but has quite a refreshing taste to it. It somehow seems softer than other Ice Cream flavours and easily rekindles fond memories of childhood. The Sundae is topped with Strawberry Sauce, Cream and M&Ms to give you a proper Sugar kick. It’s something quite different with the Bubblegum Ice Cream but it’s definitely going to be quite a popular choice. Price: £4.99.
Hungry Horse have also released a couple of classic Desserts onto their menu as well. Their Sticky Toffee Pudding is extremely soft and moist. It’s surrounded by a moat of Custard and once you’ve let the heat settle, it’s just a really flavourful Dessert. A classic pudding that’s been done exactly how it should. £4.49.
They have also taken the classic Strawberry Meringue and have turned it into a Pie. Instead of getting a slice, you are greeted by a rounded Pie that’s filled with Strawberries and topped with crushed Meringue. The Dessert comes with Vanilla Ice Cream and a pot of Forest Fruits which add a tanginess to the Strawberries. It’s a nice idea presented in a cute way and brings everything you need for a Fruity rather than a Chocolatey Dessert. The other thing about this Dessert is that Hungry Horse will donate 20p to Macmillan Cancer Support for every one bought. Price: £4.99.
If you would prefer your Forest Fruits on their own then you could try the new Forest Fruit Waffles. For a true Canadian Dessert, there’s three Waffles topped with Vanilla Ice Cream and Forest Fruits that’s accompanied by Maple Syrup to pour all over them. The tanginess of the Forest Fruits gives a sharp taste to the Dessert but that’s met with the soft Waffles which are so light and fluffy. They are also surrounded by powdered Sugar and more Forest Fruit coulis to again give a real Fruity feel to this Dessert. However, the Maple Syrup does make this a lot sweeter than the Strawberry Meringue Pie. Price: £4.99.
Hungry Horse were arguably the first chain to incorporate sharing desserts into their menu with the famous Candymania. They have now added some dishes to rival the sickly sweet Sundae that are likely to become very popular. Their Cookie Popping Candy Pizza is just as sickly and a big dessert to tackle. On a base of a very soft, but large, Cookie, sits three large scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream surrounded by Chocolate Brownie Chunks, lashings of White and Dark Chocolate, Chocolate coated Popping Candy, M&Ms and mini Marshmallows. What we were given was extremely nice and moreish but it wasn’t as described which has left us feeling slightly disappointed. There was no Popping Candy so there was no nice fizz with every bite and there was also a lack of White and Dark Chocolate which would have offered a lot of different flavours. The Brownie pieces were very soft and although there’s also Maltesers billed into this dessert, we were given about five on top of the Ice Cream. Again, what we tried was nice enough but if we had what was described on the menu, it would have been so much better and it will definitely become a family favourite. Price: £6.49.
The other new Sharing Dessert is destined to bring out the inner child in you. The Sweet Shop Sharer just brings everything you enjoyed as a child to the table for you to pick and share. There’s four scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream and two scoops of that soft Bubblegum Ice Cream. Alongside this there’s a collection of Maltesers, a packet of Fizz Whizz, Popping Candy, Haribo, Marshmallows and Strawberry Sauce to drizzle on top. There’s a lot of fun to be had here but try avoid putting the Popping Candy in the Ice Cream as it tends to explode and go everywhere. It’s a perfect end to a meal and guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Let your sweet tooth out. Price: £5.99.