Sunday Lunch: The Morgan Arms

By Hazel Last edited 113 months ago
Sunday Lunch: The Morgan Arms
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Let Londonist help you celebrate one of Britain’s most cherished traditions, the Sunday Lunch.

The Morgan Arms

  • 43 Morgan Street, Bow, London E3 5AA, Nearest Tube / Overground: Mile End / Bow, Tel: 020 8980 6389
  • Expect to Pay: around £15 for massive main courses plus £4-8 for starters, £4-6 for dessert
  • Rating: 9 out of 10

Sunday lunch at the Morgan Arms is like the fantasy version of a traditional family Sunday lunch: the food is as wholesome, generous, straightforward and satisfying as anything you could have at home made lovingly by a doting parent but there's no washing up or harrassed gravy mixing to deal with, no urgent scraping of inevitable burnt bits off the end of the leg of lamb for the latecomer, no squabbling over the last crisp-edged roast potato...

Transplant everything that makes a good friendly, family lunch at home into the relaxed, comfortable, accommodating and shabby-chic environs of the Morgan Arms, add a few smiling, efficient waitresses and clusters of equally cheerful and relaxed customers, and you can begin to imagine what a pleasure this place is at about 1.30pm on a Sunday. There's some queuing for a table in the dining area but it's hardly a chore to sit with a drink from the excellent drinks list in the bar area while you wait. The fact all diners seem to be large-ish family groups or gatherings of rather hip, young friends also eases you into the laid back atmosphere.

The roast dinners are extremely generous and clearly sourced from the finest ingredients, each order piled high with fresh vegetables, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and lashings of gravy.. Roast pork comes with a fantastically crunchy bit of crackling, roast beef is cut in doorstep thickness and is tender and succulent, as is the roast lamb. The poultry option is definitely not battery farmed and is of an upbringing anyone could be proud of. There are other options on the Sunday menu: seafood and vegetarian dishes are of equally high standard but not nearly as enticing as the roasts. Starters and puddings are quite adventurous and not great for sharing but all worth leaving a bit of room for.

Though pricier than the average pub lunch, it's obvious from the first glance through the hatch into the kitchen that you're getting your money's worth as this is definitely gastropub territory. The plaque proudly announcing the Morgan Arms as Evening Standard pub of the year in 2005 should give you further proof of the quality of this place. And if you need further convincing, then head to Mile End and see for yourself: the proof is in the starter, main course and pudding of this great Sunday lunch venue.

Last Updated 12 April 2008

EastLondonBoy

I've been to this pub and eaten here right at the beginning of it's life since it was transformed from the rough n ready place it used to be.
Without a shadow of doubt it deserved all the credit it's received for great food, service and cheer. But, unfortunately, as so often happens, this gastropub has steadily let itself down, to the point where now it's a complete rip off. You can still feel the warmth as you enter the pub, yet nowadays that's where it ends, at the doorstep.
The service goes through some of the motions but on a Sunday you don't expect the staff to be as sleepy, careless and lazy as the rest of London. Don't expect your full order to return to your table. When it arrives expect the opposite of the above review. There's no heaving plate here anymore. Just the minimum offering. Since when did your 'loving doting parent' slap one and a half burnt potatoes on your half full/half empty (you chose) plate. A dribble of gravy and sweaty cabbage is just enough to take a look for the waitresses. Any around? No. When there's one in site, a reluctant nod is what you'll receive to let you know they might be over at some point. This is when the dining area itself is half full/half empty (you chose).
The pudding was ok but who eats ice cream ice cream with a fork? I'd of liked to ask the waitresses, but i guess they had done their bit at that stage.
£32 pounds later. Time to leave.
ps. If you care to leave a tip, don't expect a thank you.
Good luck Morgan Arms, we'll see what you turn into in a few years, as in this day and age, you simply don't stand a chance when poeple expect something back for their money.