Wednesday, 8 June 2016

The Pickled Fork at the Grosvenor Arms, Earlsfield

Asparagus with sheep's milk cheese, peas and Jersey Royal vinaigrette
Last Wednesday night I was the guest of Go Earlsfield who invited me out to dinner at the newly refurbished Grosvenor Arms on Garratt Lane in Earlsfield. The pub has only been open for five weeks following a change of ownership and refurbishment. The pub certainly looks brighter following the renovations and the new team are very friendly (with crushingly firm handshakes), but the place still needs a few finishing touches / pictures on the wall before you could call it properly homely.

We were there for a collaboration with the Pickled Fork, a local catering company, who put on a couple of pop up dinners in the upstairs of the pub last week.
Barbecued octopus with broad bean hummus
There was live jazz and a glass of prosecco to greet us in the bar downstairs before we all headed up to the restaurant on the first floor. I was very pleasantly surprised by all of the food which had subtlety and an interesting combination of flavours in every dish. Reading the menu it would be easy to think they were trying a bit hard, but everything worked together really well.

The starter was new season asparagus with smoked Sussex sheep's cheese, raw peas and a Jersey Royal vinaigrette. Are there really potatoes in the vinaigrette? There did seem to be and it created a subtle and creamy texture. If I had to split hairs, one of the spears of asparagus was cold and it would have been much better at room temperature allowing the flavours to come out more.
Pulled lamb's belly with spelt pitta and tabouleh
My favourite dish was the middle course of barbecued octopus, broad bean hummus, nduja, pickled chicory and dukkha. The octopus was tender and lifted by the spice of the nduja and pickled chicory. The balance of soft and crunchy textures worked well.

Before our mains we were treated to a song by Elsa Hackett who appeared to be a friend of the two jazz players and was also dining in the pub. A young jazz singer who is studying at the Guildhall School of Music, there was something of the Amy Winehouse about her voice. A very good singer indeed.
Strawberry pavlova with a basil syrup
When our main of pulled lamb's belly on a fermented spelt pitta, with spelt tabbouleh and roast garlic yoghurt came out I thought it was a bit on the small side for a main, but I was forgetting I was three courses in at this point and it filled me up perfectly. The lamb and tabbouleh were great. The pitta was more robust than your average pitta, but then it can't be easy making them out of spelt. I finished GE's dish which tells you all you need to know.

The dessert was a strawberry pavlova with elderflower, nyetimber and basil syrup. If I'm honest I'm still unsure what nyetimber is!

The Grosvenor Arms
204 Garratt Lane
SW18 4ED
Grosvenor Arms Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

No comments:

Post a Comment