10 February 2009
Dulwich Wood House
39 Sydenham Hill, SE26 6RS
Tel: 020 8693 5666 | email@example.com
Some welcome changes at the Dulwich Wood House
By David Yuill
SINCE RE-OPENING its doors in the month before Christmas, the re-vitalised Wood House has shown a vast improvement.
Most memorable for its expansive garden and its choice of real ales, it was always a family favourite in the summer for the crowds of Dulwich and Sydenham.
But with the tremendous warmth and living room feel that has been created, alongside an adventurous menu that still clings to the mantra of high-end traditional pub grub, it is stretching its boundaries.
We arrived through the new rear entrance showing off the heated patio area to a buzz of midweek activity. We somehow picked a day that didn't have a special event going on. With poker and Wii tournaments, sandwiched between quiz nights and movie themed nights, there is plenty going on amidst the welcomed modernisation.
The crackling log on the open fire with the candles on each table filled the room with warmth and a nostalgic aroma as we settled into our seats.
After the helpful waitress read out her essay that made up the specials of the day, she handed us the menus for us to peruse.
From the classic 'Wood House Burger' and an array of hot pots and pies to the whole trout, wild boar and sage bangers and mash dish, the choice was expansive.
To start, I opted for the fish cake from the specials’ board while my partner liked the sound of the spicy parsnip soup of the day.
My delicious fish cakes on a bed of wilted spinach tantalised the taste buds and were full of flavour, but were served lukewarm. I wolfed it down to save the heat while the rather more delicate diner across the table slowly supped her soup.
The strong spice and creamy flavour gave a strange and enjoyable 'curry' sensation to the soup while it remained quite light. The wedge of bread to mop it up was a must and went down well.
As we watched steaks and burgers, massive pies and a mammoth fish and chips glide past our table, I quickly became aware that I may have made the wrong choice.
A gigantic silver cauldron filled with steaming mussels in a delicate white wine sauce was crane-delivered in front of the better half, breaking her apparent new year’s resolution as she was speechless for a whole fifteen seconds.
My hot pot arrived in a puny-by-comparison bowl but smelt and tasted amazing. The chunky chicken was swimming in a tasty broth while the chorizo was surprisingly over-powering.
Despite its size, the dish was remarkably filling and I only managed one or two of the spare mussels passed my way across the table.
The mussels were tasty and moreish, though the sauce was a tad flavourless up against the soup and the chorizo.
Despite the odd quirk, a massive thumbs up overall. We shall certainly return, both to sample different dishes and to try our arm in the Wii tennis or bowling competitions before the summer kicks in. And come the warmer months, this popular Young's outlet will be absolutely flying with BBQs and garden parties galore.
The soup - £5.25
Fish cakes - £5.75
Chicken and Chorizo pot - £7.95
Mussels - £10.95
Roast potatoes - £2.95
Pint of Winter Warmer - £3.35
3 x Glass of coke - £1.95
Total - £42.05
FOOD (1-5) 3.5
AMBIENCE (1-5) 4.5
PRICE VALUE (1-5) 3.5
DISABLED ACCESS YES
DISABLED TOILET YES
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