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The Peasant – eaten and reviewed

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Thanks very much for visiting my blog. Always happy to have people read my stuff but just thought I should point out this post is years old. If it's about technical stuff there is a possibility that it is no longer relevant, if it's a bug report/fix I'm hoping that it should now have been fixed.

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Gastropubs are the cool thing at the moment it seems. If you have a pub and want to make more money then you DEFINATLY need to also serve good food (heaven forbid you actually think about getting in some interesting beers to draw in the punters, its not like they go to a pub to drink is it!?) I sound like I’m anti-gastropub but really I’m not; when I find I good one I will almost certainly go back for more again and again – especially in the summer. I’ve had my eye on The Peasant for a while now and was happy to finally be heading off there, and if the worse came to the worse there was a pub downstairs!

To summarise

240 St John Street, Clerkenwell,EC1V 4PH

A great pub with a good restaurant. A good small but varied menu backed up with a great selection of beers (I would stay clear of the wine next time). The staple ingredients seem to stay same but beware of their website which seems to not be kept that up to date. Good value too!

Ross says – 7 out of 10

To waffle

Spicy sea bass cevicheRibeye steak with onion ringsSelection of three ice creamsThe rise of the gastropub has to many people led to a decline in the classic old skool school British pub. Its certainly takes a good amount of balancing to get it right but when it is done right they will always work – its essentially a whole nights entertainment in one place! The Peasant succeeds by keeping the two very separate; the pub is downstairs and the restaurant downstairs that allows the pub to do what it does best and the restaurant to do what it does best!

Situated in Clerkenwell the clientele seem to range from knobby city types, to local families to the old locals who have lived in Clerkenwell all their life and will probably only leave in a box! What this leads to is a hugely varied (and therefore excellent) selection of beers to be had; on tap for the old guys and in bottles for the young and loaded crowd! The restaurant seems to have its own bar, which confused me, with their own (less well varied) drinks on tap. This forced me to drinking wine from a not excellent selection. Food selection sounded interesting though with meat ranging from chicken and beef to more exotic kangaroo and octopus. Everything was OK though and after polishing off some nice bread and oil dip I went for:

  1. Spicy seas bass ceviche on vegetable spaghetti and pea shoots
  2. Grass fed Argentinean grilled ribeye steak on braised artichokes, baby carrots and onion rings
  3. Creamy mash and white truffle oil
  4. Selection of ice creams with ginger snaps

Service was quick and prompt, though I did have to pour my own wine (not that I mind doing that). Food was also delivered quickly, I kinda got the impression that they wanted to get me out of the way, but again, I’m not too fussed, I do like the sound of my own voice I try not to talk to myself too much in public. My fish starter was nice and fresh, not really too spicey but good. The vegetables gave the soft fish an extra bit of crunch (though i really do not see the point in pea shoots, lets stop all this poncey ingredient shit shall we!?!)

Again I was left feeling a bit under whelmed by steak. It was indeed very very good but was also just steak, which some sweet onion rings I must say. The accompanying sauce was a bit watery and I think a thicker one would have been nicer but the mash bit allow for this; in my opinion mash + gravy = heaven! I think when I go back I would try some of the more exotic sounding dishes such as the Chinese inspired pork belly or halibut. It was a hot day so took my taste for ice cream on yet another trip with a selection of some very nice ice-creams (raspberry, melon and strawberry – which was delicious!)

The place was packed out for a Wednesday (largely due to the party of 40 who I thankfully arrived in front of) but the space was nice and peaceful. The sun was shinning so the wall of windows provided a great amount of light into the restaurant and made it feel like we had actually had a nice day (we hadn’t!). While I felt that the staff were largely focusing on the large party (as they would have to I guess) they also had a bit of time to chat to me – they noticed that I was taking notes and pictures and asked if I was reviewing for a website. I said no, but maybe I COULD have mentioned a project I have on my mind….

Tags food, London restaurants, The Peasant, restaurant reviews, gastropubs, london pubs