The Thatched House is sister to The Ship at Wandsworth, and notionally under the culinary direction of that pub’s head chef Shaun Harrington, though he is not in the kitchen. The head chef at the Thatched House was also not present on the night of my visit, the Polish sous chef doing the cooking. The menu offers straightforward pub fare, though there are hints at a little more ambition in places.
The dining room is set out alongside the main bar, with the bar staff serving the tables in between pulling pints. The room is pleasant enough, with a wooden floor and tables quite well spaced. There is free wifi, which is a nice touch. The short wine list ranges in price from £16.45 to £39.95, though the lack of listing of vintages suggests this is not a list aimed at serious wine drinkers. Selections included Keates Drift Chenin Blanc at £17.45 for a wine that you can find in the high street for around £8, Highwood Merlot at £29.95 for a wine that will set you back about a tenner, and Rioja Coto de Imaz at £32.95 for a wine that retails at around £11. We drank beer.
Scotch egg (£4.50) was made from scratch, with a liquid free range egg centre (a Cotswold Legbar egg, apparently, which is good enough for Waitrose), reasonable sausage meat filling though a thin crisp coating that was not properly bound to the egg (2/10). This was much better than prawn cocktail (£5.50), with cheap-tasting prawns on a bed of reasonably crisp lettuce that lacked much in the way of dressing (0/10).
A tuna Nicoise salad (£9) featured tinned tuna, but decent baby spinach leaves and anchovies that at least were not obviously from a tin, and in this case the leaves had some vinaigrette (1/10). A burger (£11) was acceptable, though its (Angus beef) meat quality was rather ordinary and the limiting factor; but it was cooked properly, topped with cheese and in a brioche bun (1/10). Chips were bought in, with chunky chips (1/10) noticeably better than the limp skinny fries (0/10).
Pancakes (£6) were unfortunately small crepes that had become cold when served, rather pointlessly having some poor-quality chocolate sauce drizzled over them and served with distinctly cheap bought-in vanilla ice cream that I doubt had much familiarty with vanilla pods (0/10). They would have been better off just serving the pancakes on their own, but hot.
Service was friendly, and our barmaid remembered who had ordered which dish, which is more than they manage at the Michelin-starred Petersham Nurseries. The bill, with beer to drink came to a reasonable £26 a head. Overall, this was an adequate meal, though it seems that the dishes are constrained because this (Young's) pub has to generally use suppliers on the Young’s list, which since it is aiming at a large (over 250 pubs) chain is clearly driven heavily by price. This limitation showed up most acutely in the dessert, though when the kitchen had a little more freedom, such as in the Scotch egg, the food was better. It was certainly quite cheap, but is really just quite good pub food rather than somewhere you would travel to eat at.