I do like my desserts, so a visit to The Hungry Monk in Jevington was a no brainer. Banoffee Pie was invented here way back in 1974 and as far as claims to fame go, inventing Banoffee Pie is a good one in my book.
37 years later the Banoffee Pie is still going strong, as is The Hungry Monk.
The previous evening I deliberately ordered Banoffee Pie in another Restaurant, which will be nameless – mainly because I have no intention of returning there as the food was mediocre to say the least.
Verdict on the Banoffee Pies (pictured) :-
The Hungry Monk – cost £7.50 (less when part of a set menu) – 7/10 : Homemade, with a pastry base – you could really taste the condensed milk, bananas and toffee, I would have prefered less cream, but otherwise it was a very nice dessert.
The unnamed Restaurant – cost £3.85 – 2/10 : Factory made I suspect – faintly metallic taste, mostly cream and toffee sauce and some soggy banana’s on an overly crumbly biscuit base.
A prime example of how the invention has been corrupted over the years, even at half the price the “factory” made one was not worth it.
The Hungry Monk
The Hungry Monk Restaurant is in a quaint 14th century building in the tiny village of Jevington on the outskirts of Eastbourne. The building is a bit of a maze – there is a series of small sitting rooms to left of the entrance, where you can have drinks before you are escorted to your table.
The menu on our visit was fairly typical for a Sunday lunch with main courses of Lamb, Roast Beef etc.
To start we had a fairly conventional Scallop dish (Seared Scallops with Crisp Bacon and Minted Pea Dressing) and a smoked salmon dish described as being with New Potato salad (it was actually with potatoes and lettuce), so not exactly as expected, but perfectly acceptable.
The most interesting dish on the menu was the Rabbit Roasted in Prosciutto and Stuffed with Leek and Bacon, served with a Mild Mustard Sauce. I ordered that and certainly had no cause for complaint. My companion ordered the Roasted Rump of Sussex Lamb with Redcurrant and Rosemary Sauce which was nicely cooked, but pretty much what you would expect to get in most pubs for Sunday lunch, so nothing special there. It would have been good to choose from a small selection of vegetables rather than just the ones provided with the lamb.
For dessert I ordered the Banoffie Pie described earlier and we had a generous selection of English cheeses.
We also had coffee with home made chocolates. Something my companion who runs chocolate making courses was keen to try – they were very disappointing to say the least. I can actually say here in all honesty, that I make better chocolates and I have only been on one course!
The Wine list was very reasonable, indeed some wines seemed to have hardly any mark up at all!
Jevington and Willingdon
The area has another claim to fame in that Jevington is in the same parish as Willingdon. Willingdon was the base for the local village of the same name in George Orwell’s Animal Farm. We drove round Willingdon which has now been subsumed by Eastbourne, although there is still a couple of interesting looking pubs and houses and a windmill which looked very out of place on the edge of a housing estate. Jevington is more picturesque with a lovely church and access to country walks.
Marks out of 10
Update – September 2012 : After 44 years The Hungry Monk Restaurant has now closed.