Time Out Eating & Drinking Awards 2009

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  • To save 30% on the new 'Time Out Eating & Drinking 2010' guide, just visit the Time Out shop

    Best New Restaurant | Best New Italian | Best New Cheap Eats | Best New Gastropub | Best New Bar | Best New Local Restaurant | Best New Café | Best New Design | Best Spanish Restaurant | Best Spanish Wine List

    Best New Gastropub


    • Photo for WINNER: Harwood Arms

      WINNER: Harwood Arms

      Walham Grove, Fulham, SW6 1QP

      Fulham has no shortage of gastropubs, but this one stands out for the ambition of its food and drink, and its ability to realise that ambition. On the corner of a quiet residential street, it looks like just another smart local pub until you read the menu. Game is central, for example a four-course grouse menu where the birds are served with roast pumpkin, wild blackberries and smoked bacon. British seasonal produce is always to the fore, such as buttermilk pudding served with victoria plums and toasted cobnuts. The details are always just-so; head chef Stephen Williams is an alumni of chef Brett Graham at The Ledbury, who is a co-owner of this pub with TV chef Mike Robinson of the acclaimed Pot Kiln gastropub in rural Berkshire. Robinson is a deer hunter and game enthusiast, which explains oddities such as the venison scotch eggs on the bar menu, the yolk still runny inside . Despite the accomplished cooking that is the envy of most of London’s new-wave British restaurants, this is still a proper pub, not just a restaurant. A good selection of real ales is pulled at the bar, and the stripy-shirted staff are exceedingly jolly and welcoming. The prices are very fair for such excellent cooking, and the mark-ups on the thoughtfully created wine list aren’t greedy either. Read more

  • RUNNER UP: Bull & Last

    168 Highgate Road, Kentish Town, NW5 1QS

    The Bull & Last looks like a classic London gastropub with its shabby chic interior, blackboard menu over the bar, and array of mismatched tables and chairs. But be warned, this isn’t somewhere you can just pop into for a pint then order some food. Tables are reserved for diners; drinkers compete for the small number of bar stools, or have to squat at diners’ seats until they arrive to claim their places. As such, it’s more restaurant than pub, but the exceptional food and laid-back, friendly atmosphere make it worth booking in advance. The charcuterie is made on the premises, including the dark slivers of duck ‘prosciutto’. Main courses also show the talent in the kitchen, for example the slow-cooked pig cheeks, served in a bowl with a slab of boulanger potatoes; very French, and rich with the intense, browned-meat flavours of the Maillard reaction. We’ve always found the service accomodating and charming, but make sure you book a seat first. Read more

  • RUNNER UP: Britannia

    360 Victoria Park Road, Victoria Park, E9 7BT

    On the edge of Victoria Park, a revolution stirs. This grand old Victorian pub has been spruced up to cater for all sorts of diners and drinkers, from families enjoying the garden barbecues and the kids’ menu, through to smart dining in the tucked-away dining room. Britishness is celebrated in everything from the decor (Victoriana and framed adventure comics from the 1950s) to the local ales (Meantime, and a few guest ales). Ingredients are mainly British, but the dishes in the dining room less so. The startling patterns of mackerel skin signals fat fillets of the fish draped over roasted potatoes with a warm fennel salad; roast lamb is served with salsa verde. The roast Sunday lunches are more traditional. The Britannia tries to cater to all comers, and mostly it succeeds. Read more

  • RUNNER UP: Cadogan Arms

    298 King's Road, Chelsea, SW3 5UG

    The latest link in a chain of above-average gastropubs and British-leaning restaurants by the Martin Brothers (of The Gun, Botanist et al). It now has a rus in urbe look, complete with stuffed animal heads on the walls, yet somehow it doesn’t look too ridiculous in Chelsea. The front part is still a pub with proper real ales, while towards the back is the main dining area. We’ve always found the dishes expertly cooked and attractively presented, from a vivid green pea soup, garnished with pancetta, double cream and microgreens to a fillet of pan-fried trout, balanced on a firm risotto studded with broad beans. There’s also a commendable selection of wines by the glass, and the service on our visits has been exemplary. Read more

To save 30% on the new 'Time Out Eating & Drinking 2010' guide, just visit the Time Out shop Best New Restaurant | Best New Italian | Best New Cheap Eats | Best New Gastropub | Best New Bar | Best New Local Restaurant | Best New Café | Best New Design | Best Spanish Restaurant | Best Spanish Wine List

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