‘Fine dining’ promises the website of this Gordon Ramsay gastropub: it’s either guilty of a bit of hyperbole, or the chef has forgotten the meaning of the phrase. Opened in 2007 and given a typical Ramsay smartening up, the Narrow has started to get a bit scuffed around the edges – not always a bad thing in a pub. But food on our last visit was distinctively variable, as was the service.
Onion and cider soup was creamy and deeply flavoured, but its ‘croutons’ were no more than squares of bread rapidly getting soggy. Salt and chilli squid looked like a snack in its little dish. Beef and onion pie was better, although not exactly a challenge for the kitchen. A distracted waitress never brought us water, no offer to replenish empty wine glasses was forthcoming, and cutlery arrived after the main courses.
But as pubs go, the prospect from the Narrow is hard to beat, especially at sunset – it’s situated on a wide curve of the Thames, and an outdoor area and a conservatory look out to Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe. Ales are well kept and the wine list considered, so perhaps booze and views are its strongest suit.