The Highwayman pub and restaurant, YateleyBy Debby Thompson
October 14, 2010
The Highwayman pub and restaurant, Yateley
HUGH Asher, owner of The Highwayman pub and restaurant in Yateley, was walking through the town one day when a woman in a passing car wound down her window and yelled ‘orgasmic’ at him.
Her comment, although possibly surprising passers-by, made him laugh because she was referring to a dish of Thai mussels she had recently enjoyed in his restaurant. Being the perfect host, Mr Asher had enquired how his customer had enjoyed her meal. He was surprised in the restaurant when she replied that they had been orgasmic ... but even more so when she shouted it out of her car window.
Well, after a story like that I couldn’t resist trying them myself and though perhaps it isn’t the word I would have chosen, I have to say I agree with the sentiment.
A new menu at The Highwayman comprises dishes from around the world with some references to Mr Asher’s native South Africa.
You could, for example, enjoy a curry while a fellow diner tried a steak. Variety is the spice of life and it certainly spices up the Highwayman’s menu.
Dining with my partner, I had to try the Thai mussels, although I could have had them mariniere had I wished. My partner went for Thai smoked haddock fishcake in a creamy mustard sauce. Both were delicious and also beautifully presented.
They were recommended by Mr Asher, who also suggested we accompanied our meal with a South African white wine, Cullinan View, a clean, fresh wine from the chenin blanc grape – again a perfect choice.
Mr Asher plays mine host expertly, working his way round the tables with a recommendation here and a suggestion there. He cares a great deal about not only the food and wine but also the ambience of his restaurant and this keeps the clientelle coming back for more.
The restaurant was full on Friday evening but not claustrophobic. One of the lovely things about The Highwayman is there is room to breathe. There is space around the tables so you can enjoy your own conversation and not that of the party behind you. And Mr Asher and his staff are there to cater for your every need.
The new menu comprises a large range of main courses and these are augmented by an ever-changing specials board.
I ordered the restaurant’s signature dish Espetada.
Originating in Portugal, the meat is served hanging on a skewer dripping with garlic, butter and a number of special ingredients Mr Asher wouldn’t divulge. It looked impressive and tasted better. My partner chose a steak Diane, a perfectly cooked steak served with a brandy and mushroom sauce, salad and chips, from the specials board.
We didn’t have a dessert – this wasn’t because I didn’t want one, purely because I couldn’t eat any more, which was a shame because I really wanted to try the Bailey’s cream mousse – next time, maybe.
If you haven’t visited The Highwayman before, this is far more than a pub. This is a restaurant with an extensive menu, lovingly prepared with seasonal ingredients, a great ambience and a staff who genuinely care that their customers enjoy their meal. It also has a large, clearly marked range of gluten-free dishes should you require.
Check out the website at www.highwaymanyateley.co.uk to see the menus and special events. Then check out The Highwayman because it really delivers.