39 Balham High Road London, Balham
London SW12 9AN
Cosy interior design
The beer garden
The Devonshire is one of a small groups of ‘upmarket’ pubs that seem to cater for a wide range of tastes. There is a bar and bar menu for those who want something simple, a more formal dining room and restaurant menu for those who want something a bit more formal, and a barbecue menu for those happy to eat outside in the beer garden.
It was a nice warm sunny day when we went there for lunch, so we chose the barbecue menu out in the beer garden.
We took a Devonshire burger served with salad & fries (£9.50), and a rump steak served with salad & fries (£13.95). To wash that down, we had a pint of Peroni and a bottle of Bulmers Pear cider (just over £8 for the drinks).
The burger was reasonably good – it had a nice fresh bun and a slightly smokey barbecue flavour, and nicely cooked without becoming dry. The salad and fries were pretty average though, and most of those were abandoned on my plate. For £9.50 this burger was certainly on the small side though – about half the size of the kiwiburger you can get at Gourmet Burger Kitchen for £2 less.
For £13.95, I think we could fairly have expected a much larger piece of meat that the 6-7oz bit of rump that arrived on my plate. It was not a good quality piece of meat either, and had a large chunk of grisly fat in the middle that had to be abandoned (you can see it in the photos below). Whilst it was apparently barbecued, it did not have the flavour of barbecued meat and it came with no sauce or other garnish – making this a pretty bland meal. I had to resort to tomato ketchup and mayonnaise. The fries were just OK – I ate them all because I was hungry.
My experiement with Bulmers pear cider will not be repeated. I found it a bit too watery in the flavour for my liking – a bit like a watered down soft drink. It may be to others’ taste, but not mine and not with a meal. On the plus side, both it and the Peroni (fine) were served properly cold.
Bulmers pear cider and Peroni beer
Details of the rump steak
Overview of the two meals
Cost and conclusion: The bill came to £23.45 (plus £8 for the drinks). The quality of food was very mixed, and very overpriced. The burger is substantially more expensive than the much larger and better burgers you can get at Gourmet Burger Kitchen. The steak here was low quality – and more expensive than the good quality bavette you can get at Bellevue Rendez-vous. It is a pity because this pub has a very nice atmosphere and décor, but it certainly does not have food of a quality to match nearby restaurants.