DATE NIGHTS: THE WHITE HART, CRYSTAL PALACE
Sunday was meant to be a busy, busy day of meeting with friends I hadn't seen in ages, indulging in a yummy Sunday Roast and enjoying London on a weekend. But it wasn't meant to be, as one by one everyone announced they had been hit by the flu wave.
So there we were all dressed, ready to go and couldn't quite make up our mind what to do. Our mind was set on roooooast, but it was raining so much outside you thought the world was coming to an end.
Ultimately it took us about three hours to decide whether we in fact wanted to venture out in the torrential rain and another two where to go. It had to be close enough for everyone to get to, it had to still serve Sunday Roast at 5pm and it had to be good.
The White Hart in Crystal Palace it was. All reviews were good, it was close enough and looked nice and cosy.
This is one of those pubs I go into and wish it was my local. It's got a good selection of beers, wines and spirits at various price levels. The interior is inviting and cosy and the punters are a healthy mix of middle-aged locals and a few trendy hipsters (just enough for it to be bearable).
The menu had a nice selection of roasts, ranging from 21 day aged beef, leg of lamb, pork belly, roast chicken and a vegetarian nut roast option.
After craving a Sunday Roast all day we ended up going for steak and burgers. Yep... that's how good we are at making up our minds.
I had a 21 day aged rump steak, served with chips, rocket and a grilled tomato. You could choose from a bernaise or peppercorn sauce at a wopping £2 extra (bit steep). The steak was cooked to my liking, although a bit on the chewy side, the chips were hot and crispy and the sides tasty. The sauce on the other hand, while edible, was a bit disappointing.
Susie and Mat both went for the Cheeseburger, topped with pulled pork served alongside chips and burger sauce. When I ordered I was a bit upset that we couldn't opt for a medium cooked burger (health and safety bla bla) and braced ourselves for the usual dried out to oblivion patty. Fortunately we were pleasantly surprised; the meat was juicy and there was a good amount of smokey, moist pork. Over all pretty good.
By this point I was really quite happy with our choice of pub and kept going on about how we should go there more regularly... until we had desert! And yes... it was the biggest let down ever. £5.50 for a sliver of Salted Caramel Tart, which was meant to come with clotted cream and instead was served with not so nice ice cream, is really not too cool. Susie and I had the Sharing Desert which consisted of a quarter slice of Caramel Tart, a soggy Lemon Cheesecake (crumbled to bits), a pretty nice slice of brownie, ice cream and some tinned cherries which created a watery pool of pink sugary water on the plate. For £8.50 very disappointing!
Overall I really liked the White Hart. It's a great pub to go to and socialise with your mates, the food is ok, the drinks are good the atmosphere is lovely. We'll defo go back (maybe just for a drink)!
Rating 6.5/10 (and just because the desert was so awful and the condiments and extras over-priced)
The White Hart
96 Church Road,
Tel: +44 (0)20 8771 9389