Anyone for venison?
DAVID RIVERS eats at Ealing Park Tavern, 222 South Ealing Road, W5 4RL Tel 020 8578 1879
THE Ealing Park Tavern recently won a coveted mention in Michelin’s Eating Out in Pubs Guide 2016.
So naturally I was keen to discover for myself how the gastropub had managed to impress.
Stepping in from the cold, I was greeted by warm, crackling fires and chandeliers, red leather and antlers on the wall, the very definition of gastropub cosy.
My friend Darren started with the maple and porter glazed whole Norfolk quail, offal toast and shallots for £11 and Dorset crab salad, bergamot, radishes and bitter leaves for £11.
Though neither are a bargain at a price that doesn’t look out of place on most menus, if your budget is sizeable I’d recommend these dishes.
The quail was delicious but the maple and porter glaze offers a sublime flavour. I’d suggest grabbing a teaspoon to sample some if you’re not the one who ordered it – it’s that good.
Meanwhile the crab salad, though not offering quite the same punch for its price, is a nice touch for those seeking a lighter option.
For mains, I chose the Scottish venison haunch, bitter chocolate, Brussel sprouts and sweet potato puree (£24) and Darren chose the Shetland Isle mussels, white wine, chorizo, saffron sauce and French fries (£17.50).
Cut into nine small fillets around one and a half square inches each, the venison is crisp on its outer edges but blushes with pink colour in its centre.
The mussels, too, were particularly generous and came in a huge pot seemingly fit for two rather than one. Good job, then, considering the fish was excellent.
To top off the evening I chose the sticky toffee pudding, butterscotch and crème fraîche (£6) and Darren chose the Bramley apple and cinnamon trifle (£6).
For the toffee pudding you’re given the warm butterscotch in a separate sauce boat, adding a luxury touch when you pour it on to a generous portion of dessert – a real treat.
But the Bramley apple trifle, though sweet, I felt was too small for its price which was somewhat surprising considering the generous portion of the toffee pudding.
Though its menu is tailored for people with deep pockets, each pound spent at Ealing Park Tavern is returned honestly and admirably through hard work and attention to detail.
n COSY GASTROPUN: Clockwise from above – the Ealing Park Tavern in South Ealing Road, Shetland mussels, half pint of prawns and sticky toffee pudding