A welcome return for Dining Beyond Zone 1, our occasional series of restaurant reviews dedicated to seeking out quality local places to dine beyond the frenzy of Central London.
The Thatched House sits conspicuously on a busy road junction close to Ravenscourt Park. The fact that it’s a largely residential area is reflected in the laid-back, homely nature of this Young’s pub that feels like a proper, old-school local.
That said, a few deliberately quirky design touches hint that The Thatched House is aiming to go beyond being just a nice pub for those who live nearby. A vast wine list sitting on the table is confirmation that there’s gastro aspirations afoot.
The incredibly diverse menu doesn’t necessarily shout of gastronomic heights (fish & chips, calf liver, linguine, shepherd’s pie....) but it’s the small touches that raise the bar and make the difference. Roast chicken breast with carrot mash, broccoli and thyme jus comes filled with a herb-rich stuffing and crispy skin; and a whole sea bass (though a baby one) is perfectly moist. What’s more, the staff really know what they’re doing too. They’re happy to make recommendations of both food and wine, and even match them together. You don’t get that at every Young’s pub. And how can you not love a waitress who tells you “make sure you eat the sea bass’s cheeks and face”. She was right, they are the best part.
A chocolate and almond cake sits between pub fare and restaurant dessert, which seems a fitting end to the meal. An apple and rum socked raisin crumble also goes down well, but is the only dish that has suffered slightly from that old gastropub syndrome known as “poncification”. Crumbled biscuits instead of crumble? Ice cream instead of custard?
Still, with only tiny niggles to note, and a whole lot of good food at great prices (£7-£12 for main courses) we’d happily be back. If only to once again push open a book case and find the toilets.