THE Junction's food is not what you expect. The exterior of the pub is slightly overbearing at a busy junction in Wycombe Marsh and I expected your standard pub fare but this was not what I found- instead it was beautifully cooked with carefully prepared dishes and just a touch of fine dining.
It has been two years since Shahrukh Saiyed took over the derelict former pub, The Red Lion, and transformed it into The Junction.
I had heard the food was good but had yet to venture inside and it had never looked very busy to me from the outside.
But I was wrong again- I went on a Wednesday night and the pub had a busy and vibrant atmosphere.
The drinks menu is large with a big section for cocktails. The menu changes and had about six or seven options for each course.
Shahrukh told us it took a while for things to pick up but now things are really starting to get busy, as they start to become well known for their freshly prepared food.
For starters I went for the Pan Fried King Prawns with a garlic butter and cream sauce (£5.95).
The three large prawns were complete shells, heads and tails and were delightfully thick and juicy.
They were accompanied with an extremely rich and moreish sauce, which tasted strongly of garlic, but as I am a big fan of garlic this was not a problem for me.
It was also served with two thick slices of buttery, crispy garlic bread which was welcome.
My boyfriend, Tom, went for the Seared Scallops, Crispy Smoked Bacon with a Celeriac and Parmesan Purée (£6.75).
This was beautifully presented and there were about four succulent scallops, which were cooked as they should be. The smoked bacon was indeed crispy and perched on top of the scallops with twirls of cucumber surrounding it, with rocket and beetroot. The purée was delicately placed on the side.
It sounds a strange combination but it worked beautifully. Tom described the sauce as zesty and the bacon the perfect crispness.
For mains I went for the Beef and Ale Pie with hand cut chips and seasonal vegetables (£10.95).
The pie had a puff pastry top and was brimming with chunks of tender beef, carrots and peas in a deliciously rich gravy.
My pastry choice for a pie is puff, so I was pleased with this and I was thoroughly impressed with the amount of meat in the pie- there was no scrimping here. The chips were thickly cut and well cooked. The Chantenay carrots and cabbage were also cooked as I like them- crisp with the right amount of bite. Shahrukh told me the pies are very popular and I can see why.
Tom went for the Canon of Lamb with Wasabi Mash, Chantenay Carrot with and port and chocolate sauce (£13.95).
The two pieces of pink lamb had a delicate layer of fat around the edge- it was delicious as the fat added just the right amount of flavour without being too much.
The wasabi mash was amazing- creamy yet with an added kick and the sauce went extremely well with the whole dish- adding that wonderful touch of sweetness from the chocolate with the tender lamb.
For dessert I went for the White Chocolate Cheesecake with Winter Berries with fruit compote (£5.75).
It was an impressive serving of a round cheesecake. The filling was dense and creamy, which tasted subtly of white chocolate and the biscuit base was crisp. The winter berries tasted strongly of cloves, which I really liked and made me think of Christmas, and which added an added twist to the heavenly richness of the cheesecake.
Tom went for Lemon Creme Brulee with Sable Biscuits (£5.25). It was light and creamy with the perfect crisp topping.
Tom loved the subtle twist of the lemon.
The food at The Junction is a huge step above standard pub grub, which I suppose is why they call it a Bar and Kitchen. It has a lively bar scene, and coupled with the delightful menu, I am sure it will continue to grow.
For more details go to http://junctionpub.co.uk/