I was invited to try out the new spring/summer menu at the Old Bull and Bush, between Golders Hill Park and the Hampstead Heath extension - not far from the famed Spaniards Inn where it is notoriously difficult to get a table on the weekend.
The Old Bull and Bush is a modernized traditional British pub, with cosy corners, comfy armchairs, and when it's not so sunny, an open fire. The décor both in the bar and in the dining room has been recently refurbished to give a modern airy feel with calming greys and high ceilings, and beautiful tall windows, particularly prominent in the dining room with enormous bay window seating areas. Outside seating at the front offers canopies and comfort to tempt those wishing to prolong the sunny outdoor feeling.
On a Sunday, the menu offers a variety of Roasts, including a nut roast, with the most enormous Yorkshire puddings! Ample portions, with mini versions available for the kids (though the Yorkies are just as big). However we were here to try out the new menu so...
We arrived soon after 3pm, and it was still busy post-lunch. By the time we left it was nice and calm again, so the later the lunch, the better. A crisp and refreshing glass of Pinot Grigio was essential to start proceedings. To start, I chose Deep-Fried Somerset Brie in panko breadcrumbs with apricot and cumin chutney. Creamy cheese with a crispy edge and the sweetness of the chutney worked well. Himself had the pan-fried Tiger Prawns with sweet chilli and ginger sauce. Messy, but full of zing and flavour. The kids' meals were served, on request, at the same time as our starters. The brioche burger was a good size, served with skinny fries (lettuce and tomato removed immediately!). Some of these were swapped in the interest of fairness with the carrot sticks served with the chicken breast strips with warm tortilla. The chicken itself was a little dry and crusty, and the lemon yogurt unfortunately was immediately refused - kids, eh?
|Pan-fried Tiger Prawns; Deep-fried Somerset Brie|
9oz 28-day-aged Rib-eye Steak with Peppercorn Sauce; Duck Leg confit and Waffle
Duck and Waffle; Glazed Lemon Tart; Chocolate Brownie with vanilla ice cream
Duck and Waffle is so famous now (in the food world anyway) I couldn't resist ordering OB&B's version. A sweet, yes, sweet, crispy waffle topped with greens, honey-roasted pineapple rings, and a confit leg of duck. The meat was tender and meltingly delicious, though most of it was scoffed by a small person across the table. Delicious sweet potato fries garnished with Parmesan finished the dish and although it was unusually sweet for a main, I really enjoyed it. Did I mention the sweetness? Himself went into summer holiday mode and ordered steak with peppercorn sauce. He polished it off after begrudgingly offering me a small piece to taste, so I take it it was fairly tasty!
It suddenly went quiet when dessert arrived. Chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream, and two scoops of caramel ice cream. Mmmm. We grown-ups shared a glazed lemon tart, served with a raspberry coulis, whipped cream and edible flowers. Beautiful. And also, delicious.
|Glazed Lemon Tart|
I would recommend booking a table if visiting on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It would be pure luck to grab a table after just strolling in off the Heath. Service was efficient though, so if you didn't mind a few drinks at the bar first...
North End Way
Food Served Mon-Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12pm-9pm
Dinner for four (2 adults, 2 children) incl. drinks: ~£100
Thanks to Mitchells&Butler PR for images.