The Ship is a riverside pub tucked away off the Wandsworth bridge roundabout. On a sunny evening, as this one was, the riverside was packed with people, and a barbecue was set up. The main dining room is inside, and does not itself have a river view. It is quite a bright room, having simple décor with a wooden floor and no tablecloths on the tables. The menu is firmly in pub territory, with fish and chips and a burger two of the featured “specials”.
The head chef is Shaun Harrington, who was in the kitchen the night of my visit. He previously worked at Chez Bruce amongst other restaurants before coming here. There is a wine list, though being a Youngs pub this is aimed at the mass end of the market. However it did both list vintages and provided brief tasting notes on each wine. Example wines were Keate’s Drift Chenin Blanc 2011 at £17.90 for a wine that retails at £8.60, Mission Estate Sauvignon Blanc at 2011 £26.05 for a wine that you can find for around £10.60 in the high street and Churton Pinot Noir 2008 at £38.85 for a wine that will set you back £14 in a shop. They do actually make the bread here each day, though it was a little unusual, like a brioche in texture but not sweet, and although it was apparently made that day it did not taste ultra-fresh (2/10).
The Scotch egg was very good, the egg centre liquid, the breadcrumb coating even, but above all the sausage meat filling was very good, nicely seasoned (3/10 may be a mean score). One oddity is that the two halves of the egg were perched on a wooden platter that was only a fraction larger than the egg itself, so when you cut into it you will almost inevitably end up with food all over the table (better than egg on your face, I suppose). I think a plate would be an improvement.
Cod and chips was served with tartare sauce and mushy peas, with chips on the side. This was less assured, the batter not as crisp than it should be, the cod having little flavour; a competent dish, but no more than that (1/10). Better was a burger and fries, the vienoisse bun containing a good quality meat pattie topped with cheese, again seasoned carefully (3/10).
To finish, mango parfait had rather uneven texture and could have done with stronger mango flavour, but this was pleasant enough, served with a nice orange shortbread biscuit (2/10). Ice creams were very also pleasant, and are made from scratch in the kitchen. Service was friendly and fairly efficient, and the bill, admittedly with beer rather than wine, came to a modest £28 a head, which seems to me fair value. Overall this is a pub that is certainly making far more effort with its food than it could probably get away with, given its riverside setting. A very nice place to have a pint and some above average pub grub.