Noy's birthday dinner was a relaxed and traditional affair in the pleasant setting of Clerkenwell Green. The venue was The Crown Tavern and their menu offers classic hearty pub grub. The building is Victorian, very pretty and is rustically charming, providing a cosy shelter from the rain.
I went for the fish and chips, driven purely by instinct, I'd taken a long time perusing the menu and really had trouble deciding, like so often, I ended up going for the dish that jumped out at me immediately. I wasn't disappointed, the size of the battered haddock was enough to draw gasps when it arrived.
I was disappointed by the lack of flavour in the mushy peas, they weren't seasoned and had congealed a little on the plate. The chips were a bit nondescript, there was potato skin left on many of them which I have an aversion to.
The batter on the fish was stodgy, it was very thickly coated and lacking the crunch that is the vital element to a really good fish and chips. When venturing beyond this outer layer there was minimal actual fish but what was there had benefited from the thick casing and was succulent and delicate.
Nibs and Noy both went for the steak and ale pie which looked great and again was a large portion. This came with vegetables, spring onion mash and more of the mushy peas.
I didn't taste the pie or Kat's goats cheese salad but the latter was apparently rather too heavy on the cheese and whilst it had a good amount of toasted nuts and seeds, it also had a liberal sprinkling of raisins, this would have been more than enough to put me off.
On a balmy and rainy evening the overwhelming memory I have of the place is that the dining room, to the rear of the pub, was stifling and sticky. We all got extremely hot and bothered, not conducive to a pleasant eating experience. The discomfort was eased somewhat by several bottles of prosecco and some melted (therefore ejaculating) white chocolate Lindt Lindor for dessert - thanks for sharing Noy. There was quite a crowd and this seems to be a pub favoured for after work drinks by the local Farringdon contingent. I would return, perhaps on a Sunday to try out the roast but I think it's first and foremost a drinking pub.
The Crown Tavern
43 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R