Thursday, 3 April 2008

The Prince Regent, Herne Hill


I'm not in the habit of trawling the unlikely South Western suburbs of London for a good meal, but fortunately on this occasion I had someone else to do the research for me. There are few things more valuable than a recommendation from a foodie friend, and so off we trotted on a warm spring evening to the Prince Regent, a tastefully renovated space on the Dulwich Road which I'm told used to be the grottiest of old-man boozers but now was all light and space, solid pine furniture and cut-glass interiors.

The daily menu was scribbled charmingly (and mildly illiterately) on a couple of blackboards on a wall of the restaurant. There was no printed version, so throughout the evening groups of diners huddled around the handwritten menu like anxious students checking exam results. I was immediately interested in the homemade soda bread, but unfortunately the accompanying oysters would have probably sent me straight to hospital so instead I plumped for the smoked eel salad.


A bit of a curate's egg of a dish, the eel itself was gorgeous, delicately smoked, firm but moist. However the sauce was unpleasantly fizzy and although I'm sure this was just a side-effect of mixing mayonnaise with horseradish rather than it being off, it was quite disconcerting. A couple of slices of lovely crispy bacon on top did wonders to make amends though.


Main course of lamb rump and ratatouille was an assuredly accomplished bit of cooking. Other than the lamb being rather messily butchered, I could hardly fault this dish. Dauphinoise potatoes were rich and seasoned to perfection, the ratatouille was a satisfyingly straightforward but nonetheless tasty addition, and the lamb itself was as pink and juicy as you could want.


And so, another very deserving London neighbourhood gains a thoroughly respectable new gastropub. Well worth the trip to the outer boundary of Zone 2, the Prince Regent lives up to its name as a regal and dignified establishment.

8/10

Pre Regent on Urbanspoon

5 comments:

Douglas Blyde said...

Could eel ever be described as an aphrodisiac... You can buy the live ones coiled in gauze in water at Notting Hill market.

Anonymous said...

right round the corner from my house, Chris, so I hold it rather dear to my heart. Glad you approved. I agree with your verdict.

Jay Rayner

Chris said...

Thanks Jay. Still can't believe I fell for the Delia smith thing...

Anonymous said...

The producer of Heston's In Search of Perfection did as well, for a few hours, so you're in good company. Oh, and so did the Telegraph newsdesk.

Jay

Anonymous said...

Lovely pub, but have to say I've always been rather disappointed by the food. Have to disclose at this point that I don't eat meat, but I have had fish here on a number of occasions (its my local, I also live round the corner) and have been put off by the fact that whatever I've eaten here seems to be swimming in olive
oil and takes on its predominant taste. They do a mean burger here though I am assured by other half...