THE HERO OF MAIDA, LON­DON W1

Olive - - EAT - the­hero­mai­d­avale.co.uk

The hand­some Hero of Maida first opened as a ho­tel in 1878 but is best known for its most re­cent in­car­na­tion as a pub – The Tr­us­cott Arms. Its new own­ers have changed the name but main­tained the neigh­bour­hood vibe with a down­stairs pub proper with zinc­topped bar and comfy ban­quettes. The up­stairs din­ing room is a lit­tle more lav­ish, with its or­nate ceil­ings, leather seats, shiny ma­hogany ta­bles and plush cur­tains.

Chef di­rec­tor Henry Har­ris (for­merly of Racine) adds his sig­na­ture French stamp to Bri­tish in­gre­di­ents. We started with silky ril­lettes on toast with cor­ni­chons and slow-cooked Pied­mon­tese pep­pers filled with peeled toma­toes and slip­pery sliv­ers of an­chovies, topped with bur­rata and olive oil. Next came a bright and creamy purée of cour­gette, spinach and basil spooned over strands of cour­gette lin­guine, fin­ished with pecorino, pine nuts and sweet toma­toes. Henry’s sig­na­ture on­glet is served per­fectly pink, with caramelised brown edges and slathered in herby maître d’hô­tel but­ter.

Boozy gri­ot­tines cher­ries cut through rich and smooth choco­late mousse for dessert, and word on the street is the rum baba with black­ber­ries, rasp­ber­ries and rum-spiked chan­tilly cream is an­other epic way to fin­ish din­ner.

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