By our restaurant critic Julian Critchlow
The Anglesea Arms
020 8749 1291
Hammersmith residents will be delighted that the Anglesea Arms has re-opened and is back to form. Little has changed in atmosphere, which is still cosily informal, and it remains possible to book. The menu continues its gastro-pub tradition.
I started with moules mariniere served properly hot with a creamy sauce and plenty of onion. A surprising number of the moules were unopened, but that was probably not the restaurant’s fault. If I were being picky, the moules were possibly a fraction over-done, but restaurants have to err on the side of caution on health and safety, and they were plentiful and fresh.
Bread was provided free (though had to be requested) and a finger bowl was provided automatically. I followed with a really excellent stuffed pig’s trotter, crispy on the outside and properly sticky piggy in the middle, if you like that sort of thing (which I do). I finished with an intriguing cheese selection which included waterloo, driftwood and ossau-iraty served with a very good chutney. My guests were also happy with their choices – chargrilled rib-eye steak, duck breast, and grey mullet for the mains, though a slight niggle was that the mullet arrived innocent of the advertised broad beans.
Wines: the list was reasonably extensive. The Fleurie, at £30 a bottle was exactly what you would expect for that variety and cost; a New Zealand pinot noir was surprisingly complex and very drinkable. We had what could have been an excellent small bottle of 10 year old tawny port. However, the explanation that “some customers like it that way” did not really excuse its being served chilled from the fridge: I speculate that the management was confusing it with white port.
Service was attentive, chatty, and (apart from the chilled port) knowledgeable; and well able to cope with the rather inconoclastic humour of my party. There were far fewer covers when we attended (a Saturday evening) than in previous glory days; but that is doubtless a consequence of the troubles the restaurant had before closure, and the regulars will soon return.
A three course meal for two with one bottle of wine will set you back about £80, depending on choices. We thought it was good value and are glad to have the old favourite up and running again, conveniently at the end of our road.