Any­one for veni­son?

DAVID RIVERS eats at Eal­ing Park Tav­ern, 222 South Eal­ing Road, W5 4RL Tel 020 8578 1879

Harefield Gazette - - LEISURE -

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

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