Last week I went to visit my cousin in Exeter. The Rusty Bike is her favourite place to eat so I was really excited to see what all the hype was about. Conveniently a five minute walk from her house it is tucked away from the normal Exeter visitor. I love The Rusty Bike’s ethos; “our aim is to minimise the distance from producer to plate” by maintaining good relationships with local landowners and game keepers and even foraging for goods such as wild garlic.
The atmosphere here is great. A mixture of dedicated locals and students fill the pub with mix-matched furniture and board games to play whilst you’re waiting for your meal (not that you’ll be waiting long).
“Pan fried squid” with feta curd, pesto, tomato relish and chilled tomato consommè
This starter was truly delicious. It was the perfect portion size with for a starter and everything was balanced beautifully. It was a fresh and light dish which left me hungry for my main! My cousin had the gnocchi which was just as wonderfully presented. It came with a cloche on it, filled with smoke which looked great but left the meal tasting purely of smoke which was so disappointing considering how lovely it looked. We raised the problem with the waitress and we were delighted with their response; a complimentary meal another time. The Rusty Bike is not only passionate about great quality, local food but their customers and this really came across during the evening. Since our meal the gnocchi has been taken off the menu but I wanted to share the beautiful presentation with you:
“Rusty bike fish and chips” – line caught pollock fillet, homemade tartare sauce, chunky chips, shoots, mushy spring peas and purée
Never have I seen such a beautifully presented plate of fish and chips. Come to that, never have a tasted such a delicious plate of fish and chips. It almost feels wrong calling it “fish and chips” because it felt like it was so much more than that. Everything on the plate was absolutely delicious, I loved the tartare sauce and capers, a classic combination but taken to a new level of excellence. I’m not usually a fan of mushy peas but I really enjoyed these! The chips aren’t pictured but let me reassure you… great chips!
My cousin had the burger which she was really happy with:
I can completely understand why The Rusty Bike is a favourite for my cousin. Beautifully presented food that really does take your breath away and tastes equally as good, if not better. I could not recommend this place enough, it is reasonably priced, you will not be left disappointed as it is staffed by a great host of people dedicated to great quality food, beverages and service. Lastly, my cousin went back for the complimentary meal, here are a few pictures to get the tummy rumbles going…
Starter: “Ham and peas”
Main: “Ragout of locally shot rabbit” risotto
Pudding: “Dark chocolate and passion fruit”