Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Gastro Pub Club...


MobyP
 Share

Recommended Posts

Scott - I take this in the humourous, tutu-wearing, goat molesting, lean-pork eating manner in which it was meant, but if not the bastard offspring of a bistro and a pub, then what? A Vietnamese noodle stand mixed with a Siicilian fish sucking joint? A Russian caviar and Japanese Prosciutto palace? A Mongolian barbecue and Belgian moules/frites cave?

careful moby. the owners of shumi might be reading. we don't want to give them any more ideas.

sage words :biggrin:

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Hmm... as I'm here (in NY), maybe I should check up on him - just for scientific purposes.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saturday lunch at the Anchor and Hope.

Just had lunch at the Anchor and Hope. I searched for the right thread to add comments only to find it’s the most reviewed gastropub on here! I will keep my comments brief.

Arrive early if you want a table at the A&H. At 11:45am all of the tables for two had been taken and we were seated on a shared table for six. Clearly this isn’t to everyone’s taste, the first couple to be appended to us sat for three minutes before gathering themselves up and walking off. However, by 12:30 our table was full and so was the whole of the restaurant. I didn’t mind so much as it was a good opportunity to see close-up at what everyone else had ordered.

We were given two slices of crusty sour-dough bread and a little butter to keep us company while we chose from the menu.

The lunch menu doesn’t have much truck with the traditional divisions of starters and main courses. The food starts cheap – just over a fiver for rabbit and swede soup – and works it’s way up to the leg of lamb (serves four). In fact, many of the dishes are built to share: the Shepherd’s Pie (serves two, but with a side dish would easily be enough for three); the aforementioned Lamb; and Sea Bass (again, for two).

It’s a nice little menu. The best of the dishes on offer have a very satisfying comfort factor to them. Added to that there’s a definite element of ingredients which are the sort of treat one rarely gets around to cooking at home: Snail and bacon salad; Plaice on a bed of mussels; Salsify served with poached egg and dressed with a caper vinaigrette.

Salsify aside, the only other strictly vegetarian option was a mushroom risotto. One of the other couples on our table ordered it. The portion looked large, but darkly menacing and with an unconvincing toupee of grated parmesan. The lady who ordered seemed to be having problems making headway and gave up halfway through. It didn’t look a tempting choice for a next visit.

The “properly garnished roast chicken” (around £12) comes as a leg and breast, skin crisp and salty; a thin but well-seasoned gravy; bread sauce – oozing, softly lumpy and scented with clove; thin deliciously crisp roast potatoes, just right with the gravy; and watercress dressed with vinaigrette. Not too sure about the value of that watercress, but otherwise the dish was just right.

A choice of four desserts on offer: a fig and almond tart, zabaglione cake, pana cotta with muscat grapes and a chocolate St Emilion. We both opted for the last of these, although if I’d seen the tart before ordering my choice might have seen swayed. The St Emilion reference in the title of the dessert is the almond macaroon rather than the red wine (thankfully!). The chocolate is closer to a ganache than a mousse, the texture being quite solid. The chocolate is laced with a little brandy and layered with macaroon. I would have been happier if there’d been a little more macaroon in there, which would have lightened things up a bit. Such is the way with chocolate desserts that most people probably enjoy the full chocaholic fix.

So over all it was a pleasant lunch. The experience was relaxing and food nicely done. While not every item on the menu looked equally appealing there is plenty to entice. Will certainly be going back to try it again. Total bill for two with a glass of wine each: £32.50.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was tempted to go to the Anchor and Hope on Friday night before the Siouxsie show at the Royal Festival Hall but we couldn't risk not getting a table as we were limited for time. Glad to hear it's still cooking well, thanks for the nice report Graham. Instead we went to the Barnesbury on Liverpool Road in Islington (our first choice the Draper's Arms doesn't start serving food until 7.00pm)

I'd eaten here before when it first opened and hadn't been tempted to go back. It had struck me as the sort of gastropub that serves the sort of food that you cook at home, only not quite as well prepared as the only thing to recommend it was the fact that you didn't have to do the washing up. Friday's visit was no better.

From our mono-syllabic, rude Russian waitress "No fish cake or chicken" to the modern parents at the next table "Jamie, maybe you would like to stop stamping across the room. No Jamie. Please Jamie, stop stamping" to the sharp, slightly curdled mustard sauce over my smoked haddock, mashed potato and poached egg, by the end of dinner I wanted a smile (from the waitress), some ritalin (for the child) and some ibuprofen (for me and my brother) Definitly one to avoid. If you want a gastropub in that part of Islington, go to the Drapers Arms round the corner or if you're in the mood for Vietnamese, try Viet Garden next door.

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went there for lunch on friday. Turned up by myself at about midday, sat at the bar and chatted to the staff while eating the food. I was the only person eating at the bar and the restaurant got busy but that was fine by me and the staff had the attitude that they were happy for me to eat wherever I wanted. They were very personable and it was interesting watching the kitchen. The wine was a highlight - I got through 2 carafes of red, a meaty Portugeuse number and a Valpollicella and a decent stickie and a pint for the road as it was raining and all were excellent. The whole lot cost £50 with deep fried pigs head starter, breast of stuffed veal with mash and buttermilk pudding with quince. The food was excellent of its type, but the standard is probably that of a good home cook rather than a high falutin restaurant. I had lunch at the Capital the next day and clearly, you are comparing chalk and cheese - the Capital was probably three times more expensive and a much more formal business. The thing about the Anchor & Hope is that its a small kitchen, with just two at the stoves, producing food that isn't messed around with (with the limited number of chefs it couldn't be any other way). In its way, I thought it was unimprovable, and if it was at the end of my road I'd be there a couple of times a week. It is very close to the idea of a neighbourhood restaurant that I mentioned on another thread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I went to the Anglesea Arms for lunch yesterday. Three of the company were feeling a little, how you say, jaded, but Liz + I were on fine fettle. A large fino over ice in a tumbler for me (just how I like it); exemplary Bloody Mary for Liz; Guinness for the boys; water for the pale and trembling Julia.

The venison (I think) terrine looked delicious and came with appropriate gherkins; the fines claires and rock oysters were fresh + good; but I was menu winner with braised Jerusalem artichokes + spinach topped with an egg beignet and creme fraiche. Light + delicate flavours, but the egg beignet was a marvel of engineering. I can only imagine they'd taken a very very lightly poached egg, breadcrumbed then deep-fried it. It was perfect. when I popped it with my fork the yolk splurged out into the braisedy juices, and when the creme fraiche was stirred in it was even better.

For the mains, three of the table had roast lamb, which was beautifully pink and came with astoundingly garlicky dauphinois. Liz had roast chicken (which looked a bit pallid to me) with mashed potato FROM HEAVEN and sticky-bottomed (in a good way) roast carrots. My plaice with caper tomato parsley mulch (not really how they described it on the menu but things were a little blurry after quite a lot of Sancerre) and crushed potatoes was really superb - perfectly cooked fish.

But my goodness it took a long time - we waited a good hour from when they cleared our starters to when the mains arrived. Glad we weren't in a hurry. Yes, it's a small kitchen, but that kind of gap says 'overstretched' to me. And the bill? a completely remarkable £40 each, for four starters, five mains, coffee, water, the pre-lunch drinks and four bottles of wine. We were not robbed. The perfect boozy Sunday.

Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the egg beignet was a marvel of engineering. I can only imagine they'd taken a very very lightly poached egg, breadcrumbed then deep-fried it.

Has anyone ever cooked anything like this?

I thought that the egg was frozen (either raw or semi-poached) before being deep-fried. Is this how you do it? Or is there some other trick?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Having met friends arriving in London at Kings Cross and then having quite a few hours to kill, we made our way to The Eagle on the astonishingly confusingly numbered Farringdon Road.

Much to my surprise, The Eagle is a tiny pub. This single room has bags of character: half the wall behind the bar makes up the kitchen, which is fun if you’re nosy enough to watch the kitchen at work. The seating is a bit precarious, but the staff were very friendly and helped us get a shared table.

The menu was short, with less than a dozen dishes. The vegetarian options were a beetroot risotto, a celeriac soup or mushroom with polenta. They clearly make a lot of use of the broiler at the Eagle, which allows them to turn out the grilled steak sandwich or the grilled marlin steak pretty quickly. Roast chicken leg, ham and white beans, roast lamb make up the rest of what I can remember from the menu.

As you order at the bar, there’s a clear view of the kitchen library. As I’m basically obsessive-compulsive about such things, I was interested to see pride of place going to “Leaves from a Walnut Tree” and Hugh F-W’s “Meat”. Lacking a pair of binoculars, I couldn’t make out titles on the rest of the spines.

While still managing to pull in the punters, the food was basically dull. The slice of polenta was about the size of a well-fed cat, it tasted somewhat bland although had been prettied-up with charred stripes. It was served with heaps of dark and stewy mushrooms which made it demanding beyond the appetite of mortal man. The risotto was similarly huge but uninspired, a colossus of parmesan, beetroot and rice. The marlin was passable, although indistinguishable from swordfish. The lamb was cooked through to well done (no medium or rare options inquired for when ordering) and came with roast new potatoes. The ham was probably the best of the bunch, though the white beans rapidly wore down any enthusiasm to eat.

Desserts are all but absent. £6.50 for sheep's milk cheese, and apple and toast or £1.20 for a Pasteis de Nata. Veggie food was just under a tenner, meaty food just over. As a local, the Eagle had something a step up from pub grub, but really wasn’t worth a cab ride to get there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The lamb was cooked through to well done (no medium or rare options inquired for when ordering) and came with roast new potatoes.

To my mind, that's a capital offence. Would they serve a steak well-done by default?

*shivers*

On another note, does anyone have any experience eating at the White Horse at Parson's Green, Fulham?

Edited by culinary bear (log)

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While still managing to pull in the punters, the food was basically dull. The slice of polenta was about the size of a well-fed cat,

Did you really mean cat? Which part? From ears to tail or a cross section? I'm just interested, but Hector, one of my cats who often surfs the eGullet forums with me, is looking a little scared.

Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you really mean cat? Which part? From ears to tail or a cross section? I'm just interested, but Hector, one of my cats who often surfs the eGullet forums with me, is looking a little scared.

Personally I prefer 3-4oz cat escalopes, lightly batted out and paneed, then fried in clarified butter.

In all seriousness though, don't read "The Decadent Cookbook", by Lucan Medlar and Durian Gray (pseudonyms, of course) in front of your cat. It has a chapter devoted to that sort of thing...

Edited by culinary bear (log)

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...
This is my main question for this week - when does a pub with good food become a gastropub?  What features do you associate with a gastropub, and once you can apply say, six of them to an establishment, is it forever to be branded thus?

1) flower arrangements, esp. with that green curly cane stuff

2) farrow and ball paint. (not sure how you can tell, but...)

3) sofas (especially leather) with low chunky-legged "coffee" tables

4) mini halogen lighting

5) big espresso machines

6) cleanish toilets

Ian

I go to bakeries, all day long.

There's a lack of sweetness in my life...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I have the very sad news to convey that the Havelock Tavern was gutted by a fire. I went there today for a spot of lunch, and all the windows were charred by smoke or broken.

My personal favourite, too. I hope they manage to rebuild.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On another note, does anyone have any experience eating at the White Horse at Parson's Green, Fulham?

This answer comes a bit late, but I had dinner at the White Horse a year or so ago. Good quality sausages and mash with a nice meaty onion gravy, tasty but not from what I remember anything beyond what I'd make at home. I'd describe it as well-executed food that paired well with the excellent beer, rather than wildly accomplished and creative.

Good pub food rather than gastro-pub food, perhaps?

Sorry to hear about the Havelock. :sad:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Autumn Gastro-Pub Crawl

Managed to get a few days free between meetings and put together a gastro-pub crawl which I intend to try to complete during October. Please provide input on my choices (and alternatives). I am a bit stuck geographically as this has to fit in with other engagements. But, here goes

Old Plough, Braunston (Overnight)

Olive Branch, Clipsham

Churchills Arms, Paxford (Overnight)

Mallory Court, Leamington Spa (Not really a pub, but you need a change of atmosphere)

Bell, Tamworth (Sunday lunch)

Bartons Arms (Thai and ale, for some new tastes)

Goose, Britnell Salome

Will revert with comments when finished.

/ mart

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Has anyone been to the Dundas Arms, in Kintbury, Berkshire? We were last there about fifteen years ago on a trip with some friends, and even then, the quality of the food and cooking was staggering. David Dalzell-Piper, the chef-owner, looks like Clark Kent and cooks like Superman. Or at least he did.

It would be nice to hear whether the food is still as good...

Best -- Diane

Diane Duane | The Owl Springs Partnership | Co. Wicklow, Ireland

http://www.youngwizards.com | http://www.dianeduane.com

Weblog: Out of Ambit

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the egg beignet was a marvel of engineering. I can only imagine they'd taken a very very lightly poached egg, breadcrumbed then deep-fried it.

Has anyone ever cooked anything like this?

I thought that the egg was frozen (either raw or semi-poached) before being deep-fried. Is this how you do it? Or is there some other trick?

Cooked this a couple of years ago, believe that the chef I worked with came up with it may be wrong, but obsidian still have it on there menu! But yes its a perfectly poached egg which is then breadcrumbed the normal way. Even had Fergie(Manu) come in intrigued to see how it was done! Would be interested to know who did come up with it originally if any one knows, soz only just read thread thats why I'm replying now! I was cooking it end 2002/03 does anyone know of it earlier?

Perfection cant be reached, but it can be strived for!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anchor & Hope – lunch Saturday

Arrived around 12.30 – already mostly full – 1 table left

Table for 4 please.

She counted 3 of us – where are all of your guests

One’s parking the car

I can’t sit you until all of you guests are here

Puzzled look on my face, ok, he’s in the toilet

This is not a game you know

You can’t sit us - that’s ridiculous

That’s what everyone else has to do

I know there's no booking policy - but this is just pathetic

After a futher exhange - we left

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes it's annoying but consistent with the no reservations policy - otherwise they'd get people occupying tables for half an hour before they ordered just waiting for their friend to turn up.

They will let you sit if you order for the missing person.

As I say, annoying, but the food's worth it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the egg beignet was a marvel of engineering. I can only imagine they'd taken a very very lightly poached egg, breadcrumbed then deep-fried it.

Has anyone ever cooked anything like this?

I thought that the egg was frozen (either raw or semi-poached) before being deep-fried. Is this how you do it? Or is there some other trick?

Cooked this a couple of years ago, believe that the chef I worked with came up with it may be wrong, but obsidian still have it on there menu! But yes its a perfectly poached egg which is then breadcrumbed the normal way. Even had Fergie(Manu) come in intrigued to see how it was done! Would be interested to know who did come up with it originally if any one knows, soz only just read thread thats why I'm replying now! I was cooking it end 2002/03 does anyone know of it earlier?

a recipe for deep fried parmesan poached egg is in the Savoy cookbook. I don't own the book, just noticed the recipe as I was flicking in the library. Don't know when it was published but looked like a few years ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the egg beignet was a marvel of engineering.

Would be interested to know who did come up with it originally if any one knows, soz only just read thread thats why I'm replying now! I was cooking it end 2002/03 does anyone know of it earlier?

Don't know when it was published but looked like a few years ago.

2003 so I'm guessing the inspiration for the dish we use to cook, not a dish I'd of associated to Edelmann though!

Thanks offcentre!

Perfection cant be reached, but it can be strived for!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...