Tom swoons in The Black Lion

Stopped off for a jolly good Sunday evening bite to eat in The Black Lion the other week (the West Hampstead one, not the splendid pub in Kilburn which I’m also very fond of).

I was intrigued to try the leek and wild mushroom starter, a little baked pot of warming cheer, topped off with a hen’s egg. On the other side of “The Captain’s Table” (I can adopt this as my own now that Birds Eye has got itself into this insane horsemeat scandal), some sautéed chicken livers in a port reduction, on ciabatta, were going down a storm. I had a bite myself, and whilst I wouldn’t usually order offal, they were absolutely brilliant. Tender and rich, with a sauce of real depth.

Now, if a pub serves fish and chips, you hope it will be good, and when it is, it deserves a mention. I’m pleased to report that The Black Lion’s battered haddock and chips were really excellent. A grand portion of delightfully fine, flaky fish, in a crispy, golden batter, with great chips – fantastic. It’s a pleasure to eat a classic like this and find it treated with such skill and respect!

I didn’t opt for dessert on this occasion (don’t worry, I’m fine – honestly, I’m fine), but the options were tempting, so looking forward to next time.

As with most pubs in the area doing quality food, it does dent your wallet a little to enjoy a slap-up in The Black Lion. But if standards remain high, and you can enjoy really good food to bash that pre-Monday feeling, then I’d rather enjoy myself now, and resign myself to supermarket budget meals in my retirement. Let’s just say it won’t be via Tesco or Findus “beef” lasagne though!

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