Yesterday we were having a big sort out at home. Baby G is now crawling and climbing so we urgently needed to tidy the numerous bits and pieces he might want to eat. He was round a grandma's for the day and after a hard morning sorting we thought we would make the most of it and head out for a quick baby free lunch. As it turned by chosing the Mall Tavern we had found the one of the most baby friendly pubs in the area. It was busy with families enjoying Sunday lunch, in fact the dining area was fully booked so we are in the bar. The Mall Tavern has for many years been a bit of a white elephant, I remember going when it had a good wine list but a largely egg based menu. It is slightly tucked away behind Notting Hill gate but it is near the main bus stop so plenty of people pass by. I was always put off in the past as when sat on the top deck of the bus you could see into a very grim kitchen above the pub. However last year they had a complete refurb and the new place looks spotless from the top of the bus. I'd been in for a beer on a few occasions but this was my first time eating.
The bar itself is traditional with a good selection of beer, I had a bitter (Wandle) shandy and my lovely wife a Bloody Mary. They had a good selection of quirky bar snacks which the girl sat next to us was enjoying. We had to get back to our house jobs so we just ordered a main. I had the cow pie whilst my lovely wife had cock a leeky pie, so basically a beef pie and chicken pie. We also ordered some chips and cabbage. The food arrived and the pies were huge. Unfortunately my wife's chicken pie was not warmed through properly so it went back upstairs for longer in the oven. I tucked into mine which was very nice but I could have done without the bone marrow stuffing in the middle. It was really oily and detracted from an excellent meat pie made with succulent pieces of beef. My wife's chicken pie re-appeared properly heated through and with a bowl of roasted veg by way of apology. She enjoyed the pie a lot, I tried it and it was very tasty and fresh tasting. The sides were a mixed affair the cabbage was lovely and perfect for soaking up the remnants of my pie. The chips were poor they looked rustic but tasted cold and uninsteresting. the bowl of roasted veg was very nice again all fresh.
The meal was very nice despite an early hiccup however we weren't wholly comfortable. With big dishes and sides were were struggling for space on our tiny bar table. They do seem to have crammed these in which may be fine for bar snacks but if you are having a proper meal you need some space. I think next time we return we will book a table in the back which looked a lot more spacious. The service was nice and friendly. Our drinks and food were all ordered through our waitress and the drinks came very quickly. We were also give a carafe of tap water without asking, a real bonus. All in all a good lunch, quick and pretty reasonable. They were very accommodating to a couple next to us with a baby so I can definitely see us coming back with baby G. I'm glad to see this nice little pub serving some good food and obviously thriving after a bit of TLC.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Food 7 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7