Walk into the Newman Street Tavern just off Goodge Street and if you drown out the bustle of London, squint a bit and add in some mud and you could be a countryside pub, admittedly a gastropub in the Home counties but you get the drift. Or at least that seems to be the vibe they’ve been going for in the upstairs restaurant.
Dark wooden floors, give way to high ceilings, big sash windows and walls which are adorned in clusters of illustrations and images which have a flora/fauna/coastal theme running throughout. It’s snug, welcoming and when we arrived on a Wednesday evening every table was full and as parties left the tables were soon filled again, giving testament to its popularity which I think is very much to do with Head Chef Peter Weeden (formerly of The Boundary and Paternoster Chop House) and his attitude to cooking. Showing us round the kitchen, everything is used up, nothing is wasted and everything is made on site, they even hang their meat in house too.
Dishes that you’re likely to find include a truffled leek and goat’s cheese tart, Devon crab with lemon and mayonnaise and pickled salmon. A goat’s cheese, quince, watercress, almonds & honey salad made the perfect starter, although a little bit more cheese wouldn’t go amiss to cut through the sweet sticky honey.
For the main course don’t be put off by the simply titled Woolley Park chicken and wild mushrooms. How good could chicken and mushrooms be really, you may ask. Very good it turns out. The chicken was beautifully succulent and the mushrooms were woody, smoky, all in a creamy sauce which was perfectly finished off with a side of kale. Steak tartar was rich and perfectly seasoned and served with devilishly moreish duck fat fries.
A chocolate pie to finish is not for the faint hearted, it’s almost overly rich, whereas a sticky toffee pudding was surprisingly light whilst still being sweet and nutty.
The Newman Street Tavern is not to be missed, you could easily while away the hours on a rainy winter evening and so you should.
Oh and when you order a roast on Sunday make sure you ask for Yorkshire puddings – we hear they’re a winner.