The Coach – Not Buying A Return (Meal) Ticket
Only visit The Coach Marlow if you: can drop any preconceptions, foolishly appreciate tapas, are minted and not hungry. I am none of the above, thus left discontented. I love Mr Kerridge with his amicable West Country patois and proper pub-grub philosophy; disappointingly, The Coach Marlow ignores it.
Tapas is pointless – a Mediterranean euphemism for expensive inefficiency. Only madmen want dishes to arrive schizophrenically. The standard excuse is: “To try bits of everything!”. Which is nonsense because portions are so small, only cold crumbs remain once shared. Order your preferences then trade bits later damn it. In any other context, new cutlery is provided and smaller courses sensibly arrive first – nobody thinks anything of it. Tapas means culinary human rights are waived in favour of a needless continental concept.
Rant over (almost). Sitting at The Coach Marlow bar provides stimulating views of the industrious open kitchen; an ideal first date rendezvous, providing distractions from potential awkward silences. Unfortunately, everyone else is cramped together.
Everything on The Coach Marlow’s menu sounded delicious. The format was oddly split between ‘Meat’ and ‘No Meat’, yet meat’s in both sections: a practical joke, quirkiness or a genuine mistake, I know not. Furthermore, the descriptions didn’t hint at the wildly varying portions, making things unnecessarily fiddly.
Everything looked more than appetising; dishes were creatively arranged and housed in beautiful, earthy crockery. The Coach Marlow produced initially interesting dishes, which later left one puzzled and unsatisfied. The Whisky & Rye Pudding was cold rather than warm – evidently an error of judgement for any winter pudding. The Venison Chilli had the kick of a paraplegic and served grittily under-cooked. A pricey piece of Lamb carried a shameful amount of flaccid fat. The Pigs Head was a delicate croquette rather than something intimidating. This was all lamentable, as the depth of flavour across all dishes was impressive.
The Triple Cooked Chips & Béarnaise were memorable – undisputed world champion pieces of potato. However, as chips were the highlight, The Coach Marlow left me dissatisfied.
The Coach Review Summary
Atmosphere 8/10 Cost 2/10 Quality 6/10 Service 6/10