Tuesday, November 06, 2007

King Eddie - gastro pub Stratford style

Fate -- in the form of a very bizarre theatrical performance -- abandoned us in Stratford around dinner time. Time Out's website lists three places within a mile of the tube station. There's Nandos, Pizza Express and, amazingly, something billed as a gastro pub called King Eddies. Intrigued, we pick the pub. It is as a pub should be, with a great selection of beers, lots of aged dark wood, low beams, old-fashioned leather chairs and even a very cute courtyard space out the back. Other tables were occupied by professional-looking young couples, as well as by some single people reading books or the broadsheets. The menu, printed on a sheet of A5, sounds very promising. The blackboard specials promised an endive salad and brawn on toast. I am sorry, I know it was my reviewer's duty to have tried it. But I wanted the sirloin steak with triple-cooked thick-cut chips and bĂ©arnaise sauce (£11.50). The generous pool of sauce had a pleasant tangy flavour, and the crispy chips were perfect for mopping it up. There was also some pretty nice cabbage on the side. But the steak was tough and overcooked. I'd say it was probably bordering on "well done" when I'd asked for "rare". The husband had the tuna steak with balsamic salad and hollandaise sauce (£10.50). It finally arrived as the rest of us were finishing the steaks. The salad was very nice but the tuna again suffered from getting far too closely aquainted with the grill. It was tough and horrible - a pointless waste of good quality, expensive fish. But really, it was probably our own fault. We were fooled by the accomplished sounding menu and forgot that we were in Stratford. We should have played it safe and had the sausages and mash (£7.75). And the pub is still a lovely place to linger over some delicious beers, including a cherry-flavoured offering from Sam Smiths (£3.20), an ale-style wheat beer called Gold Blade (£3.20), Old Peculier (£2.85) and Doombar (£2.60). Here, being in Stratford is actually an advantage as you get change from £10 when buying a round for three.

King Edward VII (King Eddie), 47 Broadway, Stratford, E15 4BQ; Tel. 0208 534 2313; www.kingeddie.co.uk

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