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28 September 2012
91 lordship lane
020 8693 1629
After a 50th Birthday bash at the 100 Club you need a good lunch for the Hangover Sunday, so what better place to go than The Palmerston, Lordship Lane’s real premier inn?
On entering we could see that lunch is a family affair here with various generations all chattering and enjoying dinner together, from the very youngest to the oldest, with every table full.
We were quickly shown to our table, water brought and our drinks order taken while we checked out the offerings. It was instantly obvious that this was a good menu; inventive, bold and confident, with chefs Jamie Younger and James Donnelly sharing the honours. This would take some hard decisions so we mulled these over with a local Wandle Ale for me and a large Malbec for my dining partner ASBO Annie who knows how to handle hangovers – fight fire with fire!
I would have been quite happy just to feast on the starters, as every one - without exception - looked good. Annie dithered between the Dorset Mussels and something else, eventually going for the Monte Enebro Goats Cheese, with Chicory, Tomato Salad and Sherry Vinaigrette, a dish that looked an absolute picture on arrival: beautifully presented; art on a plate. She drooled over the dressing and cheese while deciding not to share any with me.
I had finally decided not to have the Chorizo and Fig starter, instead going for the Breadcrumbed Ham Hock and Pig Trotter Cake with Sauce Gribiche. This was a full-bodied piece of work with a piquant sauce that opened up the palate to all sorts of flavours.
A great start. The Wandle was a good beer, just right for a drink with lunch, and with the first course put away I was feeling better already. The Palmerston is a real gastro pub, with old style dark wood and sturdy furniture. There is a bar but not many people stand there drinking as this place is essentially for eating. Awards for Best This and Best That adorn the columns between tables.
After a decent interval our mains came. ASBO Annie had gone for the Hake with Sundried Tomato Crust, Olives, Puy Lentils and Tomato Vinaigrette, a wonderful fish that is always nice. And it looked the part too. I knew she was going to like it and she did. ‘Meaty, though still delicate,’ she oozed. Plus, she had only good to say about the accompaniments.
I had the Escalope of Rose Veal with Girolles, Button Mushrooms, Jerusalem Artichokes, Madeira and Tarragon. Not because I particularly like veal, but I wanted to get a reaction from No-Meat Annie, but today she wasn’t biting.
Surprisingly, the Girolles stole the show; they have so much more taste than other mushrooms and just made the whole dish superb. We had side orders of English Runner Beans and New Potatoes, and the potatoes were the best I’ve had since cooking some fresh from the ground recently. Sometimes it’s the little basics that make or break a meal.
I had another small glass of ale while Annie went for a large New Zealand Sauvignon as I looked out at the torrential rain. I thought about the ground softening on my allotment and now having the opportunity to dig it over for the winter months ahead. Boring. I needed something to re-lift my mood.
As we sat there it was impossible not to notice the desserts being delivered to other tables throughout our meal, so already we had a good idea of our choices. My partner went for the Chocolate, Pecan and Bourbon Mousse Cake with Cranberry Compote and Crème Fraîche, and I had the lighter Baked Custard Tart with English Raspberries and Candied Lemon Zest.
There is something very English and comforting about custard and I do like to dip into that bowl of nostalgia every now and again. This was a good tart. Annie’s dessert, on the other hand, was a rich, thick plate of deliciousness that she could not nearly finish. ‘Death by Chocolate’ is how she described it.
I finished it for her and it was fantastic. The dessert, though, finished me off and our plans to do some Open House Weekend stuff went by the wayside as we could think only about getting home to lie on the settee. The Palmerston was an essential part of the perfect Sunday.
Ham Hock Cake £8.00
Goats Cheese £7.00
Wandle Ale x 2 £3.40
Malbec (Lge) £9.25
Clarence River Sauvignon £8.25
New Potatoes £3.75
Runner Beans £3.50
Custard Tart £6.75
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