We really like this pub a little way up Upper Street - it's cosy, always quite busy, and has friendly staff and a fantastic selection of beers, with about 4 different wheat brews on tap! Previous attempts to eat here were foiled by lack of tables, but the other day, after crowding menacingly round a couple who'd finished their drinks, we got lucky. And were soon very disappointed. You order food at the bar from paper menus help in wooden clip boards and featuring about 6 starters and mains. We commenced with a shared mezze platter (£7.50), which between four of us offered little more than a few bites of good calamari (unusually the batter was nice), spicy kofta, chunky (but otherwise unremarkable) potato wedges and rather bland mini pizzas. These were accompanied with a yoghurty dip for the kofta and a chilli one - described rather ambitiously on the menu as a 'selection of dips'.
Of the mains (all about £8), the gnocchi in tomato sauce with spinach and wild mushroom was a disaster - the sauce tasted of Heinz ketchup and there were only about 2 mushrooms in the entire dish. I gave up after a couple of mouthfuls. There is probably a reason why gnocchi are usually served with cheesy sauces, but that still doesn't justify the horribleness of this dish. (They should go try the divine home made gnocchi at the Well on St John Street to see how things should be done!)
The lamb, mint and passion fruit sausages were actually quite tasty, with all three flavours standing out in a surprisingly harmonious way. But they swam in a sea of watery horrible mash.
The quesadilla (off the starters menu, £4.75) was nice enough given the foolproof ingredients of cheese spinach and cherry tomatoes. But it was a bit on the dry side and generally uninspiring.
The pesto chicken wrapped in Parma ham and served with vegetable ragout was probably the nicest dish but the chicken was dry and overcooked.
Overall, we had really wanted to like the food here but couldn't. Don't be tempted by the menu or you too will be disappointed.
We'll still come back for the beers though!
Bull, The, 100 Upper Street, London, N1 0NP; Tube: Angel