A Good Beginning For The Brook
Opening night delivers tasty simplicity done with style
As opening nights go, and this place has seen a few, The Brook’s on Friday evening (26th June) was a success.
My memory of this establishment only goes back to when it was the Med Kitchen, however my husband can recall the days when it was The Queen of England occupied the site on the corner of Bath Road and Goldhawk Road. 25 years after he drank his first pint there, The Queen is all but forgotten though certain aspects of her legacy continue.
The new owners, a well-established family business, have gone back to basics to create a regular Pub that is not over-designed or massively themed or particularly 'modern’.
“We are very conscious of falling into the trap of over-designing the space and losing the essence of what a Pub is actually about” states their website.
Indeed they appear to have done very little designing or otherwise to the interior apart from creating a less cluttered feel, perhaps removing some of the furniture?
Although The Brook doesn’t proclaim itself to be a gastro pub, the menu would certainly hold its own in one if not excel. From the ten choices of starters, it took us a good while to settle on Char Grilled Squid and Chorizo Salad with Summer Leaves (£5.15) and Slow Roasted Crispy Pork Belly with Apple Compote and Mild Mustard (£5.25).
“Good solid food,” was the verdict delivered from the other side of the table which goes some way to describe the tasty simplicity of the dishes, but doesn’t do them justice. They were both very good.
For mains we chose Smoked Haddock with Spring Onion Mash, Soft Poached Egg and Grain Mustard Sauce (£12.75) and Parma Ham and Brie Stuffed Chicken Breast with Roast Butternut Squash and Crispy Sage (£12.95).
My smoked haddock was a thing of utter gorgeousness, comfort food at its very best. The quality of the fish was first class and the rich velvety sauce only served to enhance its subtle smoky flavour.
Accompanied by sides of Leaf Spinach (£3.00) and French Fries (£2.50), the chicken proved a good choice, a little on the dry side, but otherwise simplicity done with style.
This was the key element we both felt had clearly been mastered by the all the staff at The Brook. There was neither fawning nor condescension, on the contrary everyone we spoke to appeared genuinely amiable. A special mention though must go to our young waitress whose wonderful youthful charm is something rarely associated with today’s teenagers, she really made our evening.
A bottle of very decent house white (£13.95) brought the bill to £44.23 including service (which all goes to the staff regardless of how it’s paid). The diminutive price tag was due to the 50% ‘soft opening’ offer which runs until the end of their first week. Bookings must be made in advance to make this offer valid.
We will be returning, sincerely hoping that their opening night wasn’t their finest hour, for we already have our eye on a couple of the other dishes and one or two of their wines.
All in all a very good beginning for The Brook.
June 28, 2009