It’s been about 2 weeks, but I’m finally putting up my review of Oddfellows restaurant in Exeter. No idea why this took so long; drama modules and panicking about dissertation keeps getting in the way I guess. Either that or I’m spending too much time on Airbnb looking at dream holidays. I’m definitely spending too much time on Airbnb looking at dream holidays though, so I’ll move on to my review.
So my first impressions of Oddfellows were kind of mixed. I’d been in there before as it’s one of the stops on our pub crawl, but I had no idea it was actually a proper restaurant (the fact that there’s a great big open plan kitchen at one end of the dining room demonstrates just how pissed I must have been on our pub crawls to not notice). As I mentioned in my review of the cocktail bar upstairs, the decor is kind of in the style of a modern bar/gastro that merges into the dining room and open plan kitchen, with pictures and mirrors covering the walls and a couple of cozy booths – really inviting. Except for the tropical dub playing in the background. That was weird.
Seated and equipped with my iPhone camera and a sizeable glass of wine (for free, I still can’t get over this), we had a browse of the menu, which we were told was actually changing the following week to the Autumn menu (kind of making this review a little bit redundant, but I’ll ignore this small point). After choosing the mussels to start and being told they weren’t available that particular night, I went for a citrus, radish and grilled romaine lettuce salad, thinking I’d start off light to compensate for the much more substantial sounding pheasant breast on creamed leeks and parsnip puree with fondant potato, asparagus and jus (went for one of the priciest mains because free, of course).
I don’t usually go for salad at restaurants. The point of restaurants is to sample cooking, not assembling. There’s also not usually a lot you can say about a salad, especially when it doesn’t have any form of meat/grain in it. I do, however, have things to say about this salad, which shows that it was a pretty good one. The slight char on the lettuce was actually really nicely balanced by the slivers of orange and citrus dressing, making for a really tasty, clean way to start the meal – which I was surprised at, because I really wanted mussels. Not bad for leaves. Not mind blowingly amazing, but not bad.
The main, again, was pretty good. Though the pheasant was a little dry and became quite tiring to chew through by the end of it, the creamy, moorish leeks underneath more than made up for it, as well as the perfectly crispy, fluffy fondant potato and fresh asparagus. Really good, if only the pheasant were cooked for a little less time. It looked fab as well.
For pudding we had a pretty classic selection on offer; chocolate brownie, cheese board etc. But, seeing as I’ve had it so many times in so many places I consider myself a proper connoisseur in the field, I felt it necessary to go for the sticky toffee pudding. And oh god. Why did I share. Why. At this very moment I’m quite hungover and I’m disgustingly tempted to get onto Deliveroo and order myself another one right now. It was good. Hence why I have no photo.
So, my overall verdict on the restaurant section of Oddfellows; if you want some pretty good, slightly-more-adventurous-than-your-classic-gastro grub, then definitely give Oddfellows a go. At an average of £14 for a main and £5 for a starter it’s good value for money as well, especially considering they source all their meat and fish locally, stating at the bottom of the menu where all their produce comes from. Slightly funky music aside, I’d certainly go again for that pud.