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Review: Disappointing Gastropub Food at Public House

BY Boon Koh
Published 16 April 2011
Our Review Rating: 4 out of 10 stars

It’s not your typical pub or bar, Public House has somewhat of an independent spirit, with a shabby-chic furnishing inside that would feel more at home in Shoreditch or Hoxton than in Islington.

Unfortunately, apart from the wow factor of the interior, the food was quite disappointing, despite the high prices. I first heard about Public House last year when they contacted me to see if I was interested to do a review. As I lived close by, I said yes – only for them to tell me before the date that they were in the process of updating their menus

Fast forward one year later, and I went to Public House again, this time because of the 50% discount on offer from my TasteCard.

The dinner menu sounds rather posh, but going through item by item, none of the dishes particularly stood out for inventiveness or difficulty in cooking. My partner had a quick scan through the starters list, but decided not to chose any of them, choosing her waistline over warm grub. I went for the grilled squid and peppers, which had an incredibly burnt and smokey smell. Very bitter, and definitely not even close to decent grilled squid rings.

For the main ours, I went for the rump of lamb with a serving of cottage pie. The lamb was cooked well and succulent, although the cottage pie was a bit bland and lacking in taste. My partner had the pork belly, which was decent – and served with some tasty pork crackling. This may be Public House trying to do fine food, but you can’t take the pub out of it!

After the disappointing starter and unexciting main courses, we decided to skip dessert.

Drinks-wise, we only had their homemade ginger beer, which actually was the highlight of the meal. Its rare to find ginger beer served in London – and even rarer still that it is homemade.

For the full price, treat yourself to better food on Upper Street. If you just want a few drinks (they can’t go wrong with those right?) in an interesting place, do visit Public House.

Public House
Address: 54 Islington Park Street, London N1 1PX
Booking/Enquiry Tel: 020 759 6070
Website: www.boutiquepubs.com