»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
The Long room bar & hotel (formerly the Mitre hotel) Mitcham Road, Tooting, London
Sep 9th, 2009 by Olivier

The Long room bar & hotel
130 Mitcham Road
Tooting SW17 9NH

The Long room bar & hotel

The Long room bar & hotel

The Long room bar & hotel

Inside

Inside

Strange wallpaper and carpet

Strange wallpaper and carpet

It is quite large as you can see

It is quite large as you can see

The Long room bar & hotel (formerly the Mitre hotel – the sign outside still has the old name) is a very large pub located in Tooting which is better known for curry houses than pubs. They have tables outside which is a nice feature especially during this late summer period. Inside, it is large with many seats and areas. I am not too sure what to think about the carpet and the wallpaper design and colours… Let’s say it is original 😉

It is a  pub but they have a big range of meals. They have sandwiches like hot special ciabattas and paninis with steak and onions, caujun chicken, Cheddar etc. There is a long room burger grill menu with the Classic burger (£6.95), the Lamb & Rosemary Burger (£7.95), the Spicy Chicken Burger (£6.95), the Mediterrarean Veggie Burger (£6.95). All their burgers are home made with 100% British beef and come served in a floured, salad filled bun with chunky chips, seasonal salad & hamburger relish)
As main courses they have a braised lamb shank (tender lamb shank in a minted gravy served on a bed of creamy mash – £8.95), bangers & mash (Cumberland sausage served on a bed of creamy mash and rich onion gravy – £7.25), 10oz sirloin steak (100% British beef sirloin steak seasoned, served with chunky chips, sauteed mushrooms, grilled tomato and seasonal salad – $11.95), hickory – smoked barbeque rack of ribs (served with chunky chips, seasonal salad and barbeque sauce – £8.95), beer battered fish and chunky chips (freshly beer battered fish of the day served with chunky chips, garden peas and tartare sauce – £7.95), breaded scampi (wholetail breaded scampi served with chunky chips, garden peas and tartare sauce – £7.95), salmon fishcakes (salmon fishcakes in a breadcrumb coating served with wedges, salad and tartare sauce – £7.50), chilli con carne (100% beef mince in a rich, spicy chilli sauce served on a bed of boiled rice – £7.25), nachos and cheese (nachos topped with Cheddar cheese, jalapenos sour cream, guacamole and salsa – £5.95) and the Long Room platter (half rack of hickory smoked barbeque ribs, BBQ chicken wings, spring rolls, onion rings, wedges with salad garnish and selection of dips – £11.95).

We ordered the fish and chips and the braised mint lamb with a pint of Moretti beer (served nicely cold) and a glass of orange juice which was quite decent – not too sweet, and served with a good amount of ice.

Great Moretti beer

Great Moretti beer

The two meals

The two meals

Fish and chips

Fish and chips

The fish and chips were quite good.  The only real complaint I would make was with the batter, which was on the hard side of crispy and made it a bit excessively hard to eat.  The tartare sauce was fine, as were the fries (ideally, I would have wished them a bit thinner and crispier – but they were still OK as they were) and accompanying peas.

Braised lamb shank

Braised lamb shank

The lamb shank was quite good and large. It was sitting on excellent real mash potato. The mint gravy sauce was very nice too. For less than £9, it offers a great value for money.

Cost and conclusion: it was £23.60. No 12.5% optional service charge here! We were happy to discover this place with cheap but decent food. Recommended if you are in the area! If you are into pizza, you can go to Limoncello just accross the road or Sette Bello 5 minutes walk away.

The Long Room Bar and Hotel on Urbanspoon

The Rose and Crown pub, 79 Kew Green, Kew, Richmond, Surrey
Aug 18th, 2009 by Olivier

The Rose and Crown
79 Kew Green
Kew TW9 3AH

The Rose and Crown

Well located pub! It is next to Kew Gardens.

Well located pub! It is next to Kew Gardens.

kew2

This Rose and Crown has a great location next to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, commonly named Kew Gardens. It is a wonderful place for taking photos of flowers of course but also insects as you can see below. Back to our pub! It is a nice looking pub with a rustic appearance inside, with many separate and cosy areas to sit and low ceilings. It has a nice front garden overlooking Kew Green but we went out to the back garden which was more pleasant cut from the traffic noise.

kew1

The tables in the back garden (not the photo above, which is of the path taking you to the rear garden) are quite large and the seats, in wood too, are incredibly heavy. You do not lift them easily with one hand.

Great Leffe

Great Leffe

We ordered a seared teriyaki surf & turf (grilled teriyaki sirloin and battered coriander prawns, finished with chips and teriyaki dip – £11.25) and a classic fish pie (topped with cheesy mash and served with vegetables – £8.25). Other meals that looked interesting were the Moroccan spiced lamb burger (served in a light flatbread with peppernatta, sweet potato wedges and a cucumber mint dip – £9.45), the free range extra thick pork chop with cider and Calvados sauce (with mash and vegetables – £10.25) and the pork escalope (marinated in its own sauce, served with stir fried fresh vegetables and noodles and completed with a sweet chilli dipping sauce – £10.95). We ordered a pint of Leffe beer (great beer) and a pint of lemonade with lots of ice.

Classic fish pie

Classic fish pie

Close-up

Close-up

The fish pie was very good. Nice creamy potato topped with plenty of cheese. Inside the main fish was salmon, but there was also plenty of smoked haddock and shrimps to keep things interesting. Good pub food at a reasonable price here.

Seared teriyaki surf & turf

Seared teriyaki surf & turf

Close-up

Close-up

Excellent fries

Excellent fries

I chose the seared teriyaki surf & turf because lately I cook quite a lot of meat marinated in teriyaki sauce on BBQs so I wanted to see how I was doing compared to the pub. The grilled teriyaki sirloin was not bad but a little dry and the teriyaki taste was very light. I cook better 😉 The battered coriander prawns were very good and the chips were excellent: tasty, and crispy outside without being dry inside.

Cost and conclusion: it was about £26, without the optional 12.5% service charge of course. Nice pub food, pleasant surrounding, and it was sunny! A good stop before visiting the gardens!

Rose & Crown on Urbanspoon

Some photos taken at Kew Gardens:

Taken from the botanical glasshouses with a Nikon D700 and a 14-24f2.8 through the glass.

Taken from the botanical glasshouses with a Nikon D700 and a 14-24f2.8 through the glass.

Taken with a Nikon D700 with a 70-200f2.8

Taken with a Nikon D700 with a 70-200f2.8

A bee at work. Nikon D700 with a 70-200f2.8

A bee at work. Nikon D700 with a 70-200f2.8

The Devonshire Pub Bar Restaurant 39 Balham High Road London
Jul 6th, 2009 by Olivier

The Devonshire
39 Balham High Road London, Balham
London SW12 9AN

The Devonshire

Stylish design

Stylish design

Cosy interior design

Cosy interior design

The beer garden

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

Bulmers pear cider and Peroni beer

Devonshire burger

Devonshire burger

Rump steak

Rump steak

Details of the rump steak

Details of the rump steak

Overview of the two meals

Overview of the two meals

Grisly fat

Grisly fat

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.

The Devonshire (Balham) on Urbanspoon

Harrison’s Restaurant and Bar 15-19 Bedford Hill, Balham, London SW12 9EX
Jul 2nd, 2009 by Olivier

Harrison’s
15-19 Bedford Hill, Balham
London SW12 9EX

Harrison’s

Harrison's

Harrison's

Nice interior

Nice interior

I like the design of the lamps

I like the design of the lamps

Harrison’s is a restaurant and bar located in Balham. From outside it is mostly just the bar area that is visible. The dining area is deeper inside, far from the street noise. The design is cosy and interesting with big “bee colour” lamps. The air conditioning worked well without being too cold. We were given a table at the corner. That table is it is quite large for two people but we cannot face each other.

As starters we ordered the 1/2 pint of prawns, lemon mayonnaise (£7.50) and the Norfolk asparagus, poached eggs and hollandaise (£7.50). For the same price, you can get a buffalo mozzarella, pickled beetroot, broad beans and balsamic dressing, a raw salmon, ginger and soy, or a salt cod croquettes & aioli per example. The main courses were the seared organic salmon burger, wasabi mayo, red onion, caper and parsley salad (£10.50) that I wanted to try because I have never had wasabi mayo, and the pan fried sea bass, brown shrimps and samphire, new potatoes (£14.50). Other main course options are grilled calves liver, mash, roast cherry tomatoes, mint and pancetta (£13.50), rigatoni, artichokes, sun blushed tomatoes, ricotta and basil (£10.50), roast free range chicken breast, pomme Anna, spinach and lemon, green olive jus (£13) per example. You also have meals like fish and chips with pea puree or a cheeseburger with house chutney and fries (£10.50). We chose a bottle of red wine Côtes du Rhône Templiers (£23) which was alright.

Decent red wine

Decent red wine

The two starters

The two starters

When ordering 1/2 pint of prawns dish, I have to say that I was imagining a cocktail glass full of peeled prawns (or maybe shrimps) in a lemon mayonnaise sauce. What I actually got was a large short tumbler (half a pint?) with whole prawns inside it, a wedge of lemon on the side, and a little dish of mayonnaise. And a finger bowl for cleaning the mess after.

1/2 pint of prawns

1/2 pint of prawns

Not exactly the elegant starter I’d hoped for. However, the prawns were very nicely cooked, tasty and not that difficult to deal with by hand. The mayonnaise was a perfect accompaniment. It just was not the tidiest meal in the world, and a deeper finger bowl or even better, a towelette/wet wipe would have been nice. I mention this particularly as (as was my experience a little later) catching a whiff of prawn is not pleasant when you’re eating dessert…

Norfolk asparagus

Norfolk asparagus

Perfectly cooked egg

Perfectly cooked egg

The Norfolk asparagus were good. They were topped with a poached egg which was perfectly cooked. Very hot, and still runny when breaking it. The hollandaise sauce was good although I prefer it when it is lighter with some hint of lemon.

The two main courses

The two main courses

Pan fried sea bass

Pan fried sea bass

Pan fried sea bass & brown shrimps

Pan fried sea bass & brown shrimps

The pan fried sea bass with new potatoes, crevettes and green beans was a meal best described as so close, and yet so far. Everything on my plate – the sea bass, the new potatoes, the crevettes and the beans – were cooked to perfection. The potatoes were just tender, the beans still firm, and the fish wonderfully moist with a crispy blistered skin that was just perfect. What was wrong? Someone needs to hide the salt from the chef, that’s what. A touch of salt on the skin of the fish would have been perfect. But in this case, it was salted to the point of complete disguise of the flavour of the fish (what a waste!). Not only that, but the beans accompanying the meal (with which the crevettes were mixed) were also salted to death, overpowering any flavour the crevettes might have had. Since the meal had no sauce – just a touch of (salted) butter with the potatoes – presumably to allow the natural flavours of the food to come through, it seems particularly a shame to have over-seasoned it to the point of ruination. I’m not on a low-salt diet, but even so, I think I’ve had my salt ration for at least a week now. If I ever return, I would make a point of asking that my food not be seasoned with any salt (safer to do it myself, I think).

Seared salmon burger

Seared salmon burger

Let's dissect...

Let's dissect...

The seared organic salmon burger was ok. I was hoping for something with more flavour because of the wasabi mayo but it was bland and very filling. At least the salmon was very hot which was nice. The wasabi was detectable but unfortunately only just. I think it would have been better if the salmon had been marinated in some teriyaki sauce to give it more taste. The red onion, caper and parsley salad was forgettable, especially the capers that were too soft.

The two desserts

The two desserts

Eton mess

Eton mess

The Eton mess was quite decent. For my taste, it was perhaps a bit overloaded with meringue and underdone with fruit/coulis – but then, I prefer things that are not especially sweet, and meringue tends to be very sweet.

Crème brûlée

Crème brûlée

The crème brûlée was quite good, not too sweet and well mixed with some raspberries. The layer of hard caramel was seriously hard to break but it was well done. The shortbread was alright.Cost and conclusion: it was £83.25 including the “optional” service 12.5%. If it is optional, please do not add it automatically to the bill as it is rude and a kind of forced sale. Tips should be left at the discretion of the client. Talking about the service charge, it was ok but quite pushy at the beginning. No less than 3 waiters, and within 3 minutes, asked us if we wanted a cocktail to start while we were looking at the menu. We came for diner, not for being harrassed. One no thank you should be enough. Now about the cost, £83 is overpriced for what we had. The design is nice but the food does not follow. Harden’s describe this place as “Stunningly average food at not-so-average prices”. We fully agree with them: the food was just alright. For more, but at a much better value for money, you can eat at Lamberts located 5 minutes walk away. And at 20 minutes walk away towards Wandsworth Common you have the excellent French restaurant Bellevue Rendez-vous.

Harrison's on Urbanspoon

The Ship Tavern pub at 12 Gate St, in Holborn, London UK
Jun 4th, 2009 by Olivier

The Ship Tavern
12 Gate St, Holborn
London WC2A 3HP

The Ship Tavern

Reviewed on Thursday 4 June 2009

The Ship Tavern in Holborn

The Ship Tavern in Holborn

The Ship Tavern is a traditional pub, located in Holborn not far from the tube station. They have been there since 1549!  Inside it is small, dark but cosy. They have more room upstairs in case it gets really busy. It is usually quiet during the weekend but during the week go early in the evening for securing a table. This is the third time we went there and we have been quite happy the previous time. Will it be the case again? :-)

We ordered the crisp pork belly (again! Third time now!) served with buttered mash potato, green beans, port gravy & spiced apple sauce (£9.95) and the steak & real ale pie made with Bombardier ale topped with puff pastry (£9.95) for trying something new. We had two Budweiser beers too. As at any pub you order your food at the counter and pay there in advance. Then you get a big wooden spoon with a number so they know who to serve. The staff were friendly and polite as usual.

The steak & real ale pie was great. Of course it is not exactly what we can call a light meal but the puff pastry was light and good, providing a nice contrast to the meat which was also good, with some ale flavour which reminded me of the Carbonnade flamande you can get in Belgium. The fries were crispy and good. I prefer when they are thinner but at least they were not huge and undercooked as it happens often in the UK. The crisp pork belly tasted good, was quite large but not warm enough unfortunately. Also it wasn’t as crispy as previous (which is probably due to the same problem – not cooked long enough the second time). It was better the previous times we went there, especially the first time. Maybe we arrived there too early this time?

Nice cosy interior, good beer!

Nice cosy interior, good beer!

The glass with the spoon we got after ordering

The glass with the spoon we got after ordering

The counter. Nice ceiling.

The counter. Nice ceiling.

The TV for watching sport

The TV for watching sport

The crisp pork belly

The crisp pork belly

Steak & real ale pie

Steak & real ale pie

Overview of the table with the two meals

Overview of the table with the two meals

Cost and conclusion:  for less than £30 I think this place is a good value for money especially considering the location. Pity for the pork belly this time though and hopefully it was just an accident. You can read previous reviews of the Ship Tavern here (12 April 2009) and here (3 May 2009).

The Ship Tavern on Urbanspoon


»  Substance: WordPress   »  Style: Ahren Ahimsa
© 2010 Trusted-Gourmet.com