Drop Anchor at The Crown - You Won't Want to Leave!
Jack Collins reviews the new Crown and Anchor gastropub menu
There's an air of 'cool' about the Crown & Anchor these days. With it's old-school benches and tables, chilled playlist ranging from Stevie Wonder to The Vaccines, selection of lesser-known foreign lagers and the new gastro-menu, it's not hard to see why. I went down on a Monday night with my friend Andrew to see if it lived up to the hype.
As soon as we walked in to the pub, we were greeted with friendly smiles and impeccable service. Nothing was too much trouble for the wonderful staff and I think they deserve a special mention right at the outset for being absolutely fantastic the whole night we were in there, not just to us but to everybody in the vicinity.
We sat down and ordered drinks - I was delighted to see the Japanese lager Asahi on tap whilst Andrew, who's more of an ale man, was equally pleased to see Sambrook's Wandle as one of the guest ales. We ordered a starter of Nachos with Chill Beef to begin the night's culinary proceedings. This arrived extremely quickly and we tucked in. As a bit of a spice fiend, I was delighted to see jalapeño peppers all over the place and these were excellent, which is my deal-clencher when it comes to nachos. We were both impressed with the home made salsa and generous portion size and polished the whole bowl off within minutes!
For a main course, I ordered the Onglet Steak, whilst Andrew opted for the equally tempting sausage, black pudding and bacon on a bed of bubble and squeak and drizzled in a HP jus. Although the steak was good, we unanimously decided that Andrew had made the right choice, as his dish was absolutely excellent. Again, the portions were generous and the ingredients extremely fresh, especially the salad which came with the steak. I'm not usually a salad person and was surprised to find myself really enjoying it! The steak was overcooked a little for my favoured medium rare but was still tasty and we both were extremely full by the end of our respective dishes!
This is a problem I have often, that I find I have enjoyed my main course too much and filled myself up before pudding. However, being sweet-toothed, we decided it would be unprofessional to not have a third course and decided to have the less filling option of ice creams. The pudding selection was excellent, however, and I was upset that I didn't have room to fit in the Chocolate Fudge Cake. We ordered a passionfruit and a honeycomb respectively, and were pleasantly surprised by both - the passionfruit was almost sorbet-like; sharp, zesty and refreshing, whilst the honeycomb was perfectly sweet in contrast. Once we had finished these off, we both sat back and let our meals digest over one final pint.
Overall, we had a thoroughly pleasant dining experience at the Crown & Anchor. We were served fantastically by the staff, for whom nothing was too much trouble, enjoyed our food and our drinks immensely, and had an extremely lovely time to boot. I'd happily come back for any of their special offers, which are definitely worth exploring because they're great value, or for a family Sunday Lunch. The only thing I'd say as a negative is that I'd perhaps now think of the Crown purely as a gastropub, not somewhere I'd drop into for a few pints. But when the food's this good and the atmosphere so inviting, maybe dinner at the Crown will become a mainstay of a few pints on the High Road!
August 8, 2013