Very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food, I felt the cooking was tighter than St Johns.
Truly golden brown batter with a good crunchiness on the fried roe, a little hint of the ocean on the soft insides. Excellent deep frying. A solid, reassuring if basic tartare sauce.
Firm smoked eel, very good texture and also good contrast with the softness in the potato salad.
The salt beef was dense with tender fibres, reminded me of some cured meats at elegant Chinese restaurants from my childhood. A classic contrast with the sweetness and acidity from pickled cucumber and onion.
Both the lamb and pork main dishes play to the natural strength of the flavourful meats here, the lamb juicy and deep flavoured (although the show was somewhat stolen by the fresh sweet verdant flavour of mashed peas bolstered with spritely mint) , the pork belly moist and sticky with fat, finishing off with a crackling skin, thick but as if composed of many miniature bubbles, crispy and light, with wonderful courgettes tasting truly and deeply of the vegetable in its native sweetness.
An ok rum and raisin ice cream, fine but undistinguished.
I thought the prices were quite reasonable (mains mostly in the mid-teens), roughly the same as most gastropubs but with focused flavours and crisp cooking that exceeds the gastropubs I've been to.
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