Pubs not offering food must be getting scarce nowadays. For most places, it’s not just good enough to offer somewhere convivial for a bloke to down a quiet pint or two; the added profit margins of food service are necessary to keep heads above water. But as always, there is a great difference between an attractive and tasty menu that makes you want to come back or provides a great local bolt hole for when a pizza arriving on a moped isn’t enough but cooking for yourself is too much bother, and a miserable boozer serving meals overly redolent of the worst examples of school food. What we’re after is definitely the former: a date-night pub, perhaps.
The Lucky Pig has just opened at the bottom end of the North End Road. With 1920s inspired styling throughout, there is a large pub space at the front of the room with seating, with tables for eating towards the rear, including a private dining area for parties. Music features on Wed, Thurs, and Saturday nights; with live bands on both the weekdays, and a DJ on Saturday night. The duelling pianos event on Thursday nights does sound terrific fun and we’ll be going one evening in the coming months. There is an extensive cocktail menu, as well as craft beers. The lunch menu looks good value, with two courses for £10.95 and three for £13.95, with lunch service starting at 11am. Small plates – e.g. deep fried prawn & shiitake ravioli, nashi pear, Goma relish, or hot and sour crispy squid, salted fig aioli are served all day.
We tried the evening menu. From the choice of five starters, H’s ricotta and butternut squash stuffed courgette flower – the only vegetarian option amongst the starters – was the winner, with the saltiness of the ricotta and sweetness of the butternut squash combining well with the sweetness of a golden raisin and pine nut dressing. My Brixton ale cured salmon with radish and English asparagus slaw was good, but slightly lacking in acidity.
The tables were turned for the main course, where my canon of lamb was excellent – pink, delicately flavoured and absolutely cooked to perfection. H’s pave of rump steak was an impressive piece of meat and beautifully cooked, and the bone marrow butter was added an extra layer of savoury depth to the dish. The accompanying triple cooked chips were a little disappointing, being a little short of the crispy fluffiness that we thought they should show. Again, of the six choices for a main course, there was one vegetarian option, and one fish dish. We did think that the mains in particular were generally very meat oriented, and the menu to us had more of a winter feel, rather than lighter summer dishes.
Prices for first courses ranged between £7.50 and £9.50, and between £12.50 and £18.50 for mains. We did think that lack of optional side dishes was a shame; for the steak in particular a little greenery would have been a welcome addition.
Overall, we ate well and found the atmosphere enjoyable. As somewhere where meeting for a cocktail or two can progress easily to dinner, the Lucky Pig hit the spot.
The Lucky Pig, Fulham
374 North End Road,
London SW6 1LY
020 7385 1300
We were the guests of The Lucky Pig, all opinions our own.