The Robin Hood – Cherry Hinton

The Cambridge Foodies isn’t just for expensive gourmet cuisine. I have always tried to represent all types of food and explore every budget I can in order to keep our community inclusive. As long as we can provide a utility to someone, then I feel the urge to report it. I know dozens of people, for example, will only spend x amount of a meal, so if I can aid them with finding the best value in Cambridgeshire then I want to help them.

This leads me to the Robin Hood in Cherry Hinton. A pub comparable to a Hungry Horse or any other value family pub chain, which serves a selection of reasonably priced generic food which can be enjoyed by the entire family.

The Robin Hood has always been a family favourite. Mostly because the place is big enough to host large numbers comfortably, as well as having a generous amount of parking. The venue is also pleasantly decorated which never makes you feel like you are slumming it in a value restaurant. It has historically done food well enough to never offend and is generic enough to please everyone in the family, even Grandma.

We decided to pop back after a slight hiatus for my mum’s birthday so thought I would share our experience.

Being a Greene King, the beer selection is fairly average. It’s a step up from Fosters and Carling but there isn’t anything more adventurous than Neck Oil or Ice Breaker on tap. This may be enough for some people but failed to entice me. With that said, the beer selection here has improved over the years.

As mentioned above, the place is nicely decorated. Its living room theme was clean and a balance of modern and traditional styles. There were booths and long tables making it accessible to small and large parties alike. The restaurant was very clean, which is more than what can be said for the Hungry Horse on Milton Road.

The menu was very generic, which is not always a bad thing. You can never go wrong with burgers, steak, and pies. There were also some interesting things, such as katsu curry for the more adventurous people out there.

My wife and sister ordered burgers which came with chips and onion rings. I must admit, these were painfully average and reminiscent of something you could make at home.

The burgers on the menu hover between £12-15, depending on what you order. The chips were lovely but the portions were measly, even when considering the cost.

I have always tried to give value establishments the benefit of the doubt (even if met with excessive criticism from members of the community) as I feel the foodie scene should be accessible to everyone, but it was very hard to stay positive about this dish. It was quite simply a bad deal with forgettable food.

The steak was pretty decent. It was a 12oz rump steak was served medium rare and accompanied with garlic butter on top. The chips were very nice, like they were with the burger, but the portions were fairly average again. It also came with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and salad which were all inoffensive.

The medium rare was cooked on point. The steak was also surprisingly succulent and had very little gristle (like you may expect from a value chain restaurant). For £16.49, this was a much better deal than the burgers, though both my wife and I finished our meals still hungry afterwards. A wild guess would be that in this age of inflation, in order to keep costs low and competitive, portions are being chipped away.

Looking across the table, my mum’s roast beef looked glorious! The Yorkshire pudding was nearly the size of my head and the beef looked beautifully pink.

The Apple crumble was described as “naff” by my wife, which I thought perfectly summed it up. My wife is a person with a vastly huge vocabulary and practices it frequently, so for her to lack the enthusiasm to even waste energy on describing how poor it was only adds more insult to injury. There was not enough crumble which didn’t even cover the top. Also, why was there mint on the dish?

Overall, I was disappointed with what the Robin Hood has become. It’s been a few years since my last visit and I remember it being significantly better than what I experienced today. I have always defended places like this and acknowledge the fact that their value food gives real people a chance to dine out. I also respect that their prices seem to have stayed pretty much the same even during this time of excessive inflation, which has protected people from rising costs. On a personal level I feel that unless you are determined to dine out to just stay at home and cook something from the supermarket.

With that said, the beer selection has improved and it is still one of the nicest pubs in Cambridge to be in (which serves this type of value food). The chips tasted great even if the portions were small and the staff were friendly and attentive. I would also recommend the steak, which for its cost, was a fair price.

Thanks for reading

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