A few weeks ago, Cathy the Gastronomer was in London for a short stop before her big trip to France with her husband and mother and we arranged to meet at Maltby Street for St John’s vanilla custard filled doughnuts. We also arranged to meet the next day for lunch at The Mall Tavern – it was a Sunday and I convinced them that they needed a proper roast lunch! It would be a first visit to this pub for all of us.
We were seated in the bar area – every table available had been booked up. Our waitress was efficient but quite gruff while we were ordering. We refused to let this ruin our meal though and started cooing over the cute tea towel napkins at each place.
The slightly disturbingly named Cow Pie (£14.50) came out looking glorious. Crisp golden brown pastry topped an excellent beef and ale filling. And in the centre of that pie was a big marrow bone whose marrow had been scooped out, mixed with garlicky, herby breadcrumbs and then stuffed back in – it was fabulous.
A Chicken Kyiv (£14.50) came out looking marvellously spherical and sat on top of a potato rosti and some slaw. And yes, as expected, a lot of delicious garlic butter came gooshing out when we cut into it – I’m such a sucker for a good chicken kiev.
The roast dinners were very good but to me, still not a patch on the two previous dishes. The Roast Beef (£15.00) was flavourful and was a generous serving (4-5 good slices) with lots of potatoes, carrots, cabbage and a good Yorkshire pudding.
The Roast Pork Loin (£15.00) had come recommended by our waitress and the loin was indeed tender. It was very good and was perhaps even better than the beef that day. Both roast dinners came with the appropriate sauces (horseradish and apple for our two roasts) and plenty of gravy.
Our waitress very kindly packed up the leftovers for us and we set to sharing just one dessert between us (we couldn’t handle any more). It had to be the restaurant’s signature Arctic Rolls (£6.50) – slices of ice cream covered in a thin layer of sponge cake – and we could choose three flavours of the ones available. We chose the Mango Lassi, Original and Tart Lemonade Tart. Mango tasted very much of alphonso mangoes, the original was vanilla ice cream with raspberry jam, and tart lemonade tart was full of the flavour of delicious bitter peel.
Not sure why but by the end of the meal, our waitress seemed to have warmed to us and we even got a bit of a smile. And phew, I’m glad that Cathy did enjoy the meal! Bookings are essential on a Sunday afternoon.
The Mall Tavern
71-73 Palace Gardens Terrace
Notting Hill Gate
London W8 4RU