For simple, wholesome, great quality food you could do worse than checking out The Alice House pub and restaurant. The popular venue has just launched its new summer dinner menu at both its West Hampstead and Queen’s Park venues and we popped in to test it out.
It’s clear from one glance at the new menu that it emphasises The Alice House’s commitment to seasonal and top quality British produce. Suffolk mules lamb, Orchard Farm pork, Lyme Bay bream and Colchester oysters are just some of the gems on offer – which are an undeniable panoply of Britain’s finest ingredients. It also has a strong focus on sustainability and that is why it works with local farmers, butchers and fishermen – to provide the finest locally-sourced food. And you can tastes this goodness from the very first bite of your meal to the very last.
For a starter I ordered Radish with Celery Salt, priced at a mere £3. It sounds pretty simple and I never thought I would be raving about radishes but these were the best radishes I have ever munched on. They had a good crunch without being hard to bite – watery and almost sweet – just delicious! The bread and butter starter, £1, was also a good way to wet your appreciate for the main meal. When it comes to mains, I tried Whole Grilled Mackerel with Pink Fir Potatoes, Rainbow Chard, £11. It is seasoned well and the fish itself flaked deliciously in my mouth. Just a quick tip – the whole mackerel does comes with the spine in tact so if you want it boneless then just talk the staff. I also enjoyed the Potatoes Dumplings with Asparagus, Peas and Rosary Goats Cheese, £11.50. The dumplings were super soft and melted in my mouth. This dish had enough cheesy sauce to cover the dumplings, peas and salad – without swamping it. I also order sides of Baked Beets and Horseradishes, £4, we well as Roasted Courgettes, £4, which were flavoursome and caramelised . But the mains by themselves are a generous portion – so you can easily go without any sides. If you come with kids then fear not as the restaurant can cook up a kid’s sized portions of the mains. My three-year-old son enjoyed gobbling up the battered fish and chips which came with mushy peas. It doesn’t matter how stuffed you are, most of us always have room for a cheeky pudding. And the dessert menu is filled with treats to satisfy any sweet tooth. I went for the Chocolate Mousse, £6, which was soft, rich, and came with fresh raspberries. The Apple Fritters, with Cinnamon, and Salted Caramel Sauce, £5.50, is new on the menu and is also just amazing – especially the salted caramel which was simply finger licking good!
Another selling point for the venue is the uber cool atmosphere. Blub style lights hang from the selling, while you lounge on a mix of leather sofas and school chairs and benches. The clientele is equally cool and eclectic. I spotted a few hipster beards, women with incredible winged eyeliner and vintage dresses. But there were still some families with children, and a few oldies enjoying a family party. But best of all staff are very friendly – and full of handy suggestions when your stuck on what to order or drink. Speaking of drinks – the bar’s staff can happily make non alcoholic versions of drinks on their cocktail menu – or even come up with a brand new concoctions on the spot. I asked the waiter to bring me a summer virgin cocktail and he came out with a delicious drink full of sweet summer berries which was very refreshing. The virgin mojito was also scrumptious – fresh, tangy with a hint of sweetness – simply perfect. Basically the venue provide high quality and relaxed all day dinning experience in an intimate environment – ideal for a weekday supper or long weekend lunch.
* Dishes on the new menu range in price from £5.50-£15. I visited The Alice House in Queen’s Park, 53 – 55 Salusbury, London, NW6 6NJ. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.thealicehouse.co.uk for more information. Or call 020 7624 0008.