My English she is much better now
But the hat is just too flat
It’s St George’s Day today and what better way to celebrate than by eating some English food. But what is English food ? You could say the sort of stuff served up at St. John and restaurants of that ilk, but that would be a bit exclusive as only a few hundred people in London are fortunate enough to eat that type of food on any given night. KFC and a nice Alcopop to wash it all down would be more like it. Not for me, though. I finally decided that a gastropub might have what I was looking for.
The Wells in Hampstead is not really a pub. There’s a bar and a few bar stools but I think the general idea is that you sit and get served. It’s probably what the good inhabitants of Hampstead like to think of as a pub. God knows what they’d make of a real one.
The menu ticks all the gastropub boxes with a surprisingly large choice given that whilst I was there only a handful of people were eating. Maybe they get a rush of punters in the evening. Anyway, there was a special on of Steak Pudding. Pint-Pudding-Perfect.
Well, not quite. For a start the pudding was a bit compact and bijou. A bit Hampstead if you will. It also was concave on top which suggested that it hadn’t been completely filled. Cheapskates. The Suet pastry was nice but the steak and mushroom filling lacked the depth of flavour one would expect given it had been cooked in Guinness. Some kidneys in the mix would have helped as well. The little chiffonade of Spring Greens and batons of carrot were unnecessarily ‘cheffy’ – an unadulterated bowlful of either vegetable would have been fine – and the chips had more than a whiff of the not made here about them. They weren’t of the ubiquitous handcut variety which probably explains it.
Apple and Rhubarb Crumble – now that’s pretty English - had an odd topping that had coalesced into little balls and which didn’t really integrate as it should with the filling underneath. That filling though was good, not too sweet and nicely spiced with a little cinnamon. The Vanilla ice cream was tasty as well.
So not too bad overall. A bit reserved, a bit moderate, a bit English in fact. And it even drizzled for me on the way there. Happy St George’s Day.