… appearance’s can be deceiving.
This pub is not too far from where I live so I guess this can be considered one of my locals. It is definitely one of the more attractive pubs in the area. Well maintained, with a lovely tidy frontage, a large area inside and a really nice garden for the summer.
I had wanted to eat here for a while after seeing great looking offers, including the meal deal of two mains and a bottle of wine for £25. Not bad. The whole feel of the place smells, feels and looks like quality, however this is where the appearances begin to deceive.
The back area of the pub is divided into two areas; one for usual pub seating with some nice Art-Deco booths for-two, and the more contemporary dining area. We chose to seat in the pub area just wanting a more informal feed.
We were quickly sat by pretty attentive staff, and perused the menu. No table service here, so we ordered at the bar a Steak and Ale pie and a Spiced Lamb burger. Both looked nice upon delivery but then the eating started. The phrase bland is probably the best way to apply it. To employ a Simpsons term of indifference, it was ‘Meh’. It was good to see the brioche bun in use for the burger but although freshly made the patty was tasteless; this was also the case for the pie filling as well. The mash gravy and peas coming with the Pie plus the chips & salad with the burger were all just ‘very average’.
Perhaps we can’t blame the pub entirely for this; we did just fancy some ‘pub grub’, so I guess it wasn’t much beyond the usual expectations you hold for this level of food. It is just the fact that the surroundings of the pub just don’t match the food. You feel it should be good, but you’re just left disappointed.
I’m not ruling out entirely visiting this pub for food again, as the more contemporary dining area seems to promise a second more comprehensive menu. The rather nice looking website implies that there is perhaps this hidden menu also. Alas when you search too deeply on the website such as clicking on the ‘Devonshire Menu’, you’re met with a ‘menu not found’ message.
It’s a great surrounding for drinks, but don’t got with high expectations for the pub food.
£15 pp – with wine / beer
Tel: 020 8673 1363
39 Balham High Road, Balham, SW12 9AN