Local favourite the Junction was sold in early 2013 to Camden Bars, but little has changed from its decade under the previous owners. The pub is still divided in two, with the dark red restaurant and open kitchen on the Fortess Road side, and a bar room on the other (where the counter is amply decorated with handpulls, including a couple of Wandles, Hopback TEA and Black Sheep Ale). This leads into an ample rear conservatory, which is nicely lit after dark. Good music on the stereo lends a pleasantly lived-in feel to the bar, while the eating area tends to fill rapidly at around 8pm with a mix of couples, families and groups of friends. In fine weather, the back garden is the got-to-be-there destination
The Junction has been through several changes of chef since the takeover. Some have been more successful than others, but the most recent – following the spring arrival of a chef from the excellent Vinoteca wine bars – is not just successful but inspired. The cooking has a new spring and precision that had been lacking for some time. It showed in dishes of braised lambs sweetbreads, excellent pea and ham soup, creamy burrata with exemplary heritage tomatoes, and a superb bavette steak cooked medium-rare and served with a pot of own-made horseradish sauce. Best of all were desserts, including a fabulous mascarpone cheesecake. Wines have always been a strong point here, with no need to spend much more than £20 a bottle.
We're delighted to see the Junction back on top form. Its loyal local following now has even more reason to go there again and again.