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Reviewing Valle D'oro

After a brisk walk through the artisan market on a cold Sunday we were hoping to check out the new bar at the Chequers Hotel, but with the painters still working their magic, we decided to venture to Valle D'oro.

The restaurant on the Oxford Street roundabout has been in Newbury for over 30 years and has maybe become a bit forgotten given its location.

Walking in at about 2pm, there seemed to be just a small group in the corner of the restaurant, but it became clear that perhaps this place isn't that forgotten as we first thought as a party of around 15 or so trundled downstairs as we tucked in to our mains.

The menu, like the decor, is slightly dated, but still has that charm. Where else in Newbury could you get three courses of a pretty substantial nature for less than £20 where iced melon is one the options?

For starters we opted for the soup of the day, which was fresh vegetable, and a pollo pancake filled with chicken, mushrooms, basil, and oregano & tomato sauce. Little did we know that this wasn't going to be a pancake of the Findus variety, but instead a portion that could been a main in itself.

The pancake had a rich cheese flavour and was filled with thin strips of chicken, the odd bone and plenty of mushrooms.

For our mains we opted for the traditional Sunday lunch choices of chicken and pork. Other choices included lamb and beef as well as steak, veal, salmon and chicken in white wine dish.

What was surprising and charming about the main courses were the vegetables that came with it. No carrots or broccoli here, instead it was battered zucchini and chips with cauliflower cheese. Despite having northern routes, it was difficult mixing chips and gravy, and I couldn't for the life of me think where this combo for a Sunday lunch had come from.

It was still all fantastic though.

Struggling to get through the monster portions that had come our way so far, I caught the old school dessert trolley staring at me.

It was if this characterful place just wanted to throw one more retro curve ball my way.

What I did miss was the trolley been whizzed round the restaurant. While this static affair did lack the movement of some from the past, it did the job and delivered some great very cold choices by hand.

We opted for tiramisu and profiteroles drizzled in some chocolate sauce.

Heading out of the restaurant we picked up the bill, which between you and me, was £14,80 each for three courses. I am not sure where that figure came from and I wouldn't argue with a meal as nice and filling as it was coming to that. I would probably have paid double if I am honest for what we got.

With the bill, slightly more tight fitting outfits and a fresh rose gifted by the owner, we headed back in to the cold April Sunday planning when we could return again.

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