The Butcher’s Hook is a Fulham gastropub that in August 2014 opened a sister branch in Ravenscourt Park. The dining area here is quite large, with a little garden at the back. The décor was normal pub style, with a wooden floor and quite good lighting. The hard surfaces meant that the noise levels were a little high, around 70 decibels or so, though this is not unusual for a pub. The head chef here is John Stanyer, who has worked before at Kilworth House for a year, Daphne’s for nine months, Launceston Place for seven months, and at The Albion and Clivedon for shorter stints. Starters were priced from £5.50 to £12.95, main courses £11.50 to £23.50 and desserts from £6 to £6.50.
The wine list, organised by style rather than region, had just over 60 options, ranging in price from £16.50 to £55, with a median price of £26. Mark-up levels were very fair by London standards, at an average of 2.7 times retail price. Example wines were San Marzano Sauvignon Malvasia 'Il Pumo' 2013 at £22.50 for a wine that can be found in the high street for £8, Hartenberg Chardonnay 2010 at £34.50 compared to a shop price of £11, and Massolino Barolo 2009 at a very reasonable £55 given that it retails at £41. In these early days at least, there was no corkage fee (this apparently will change in due course).
Bread was bought in from Flour Station and had quite good texture. A starter of potted mackerel was rather disappointing, as it did not have very much in the way of mackerel flavour, which is odd given mackerel’s distinctive taste (10/20). A salad of goat cheese, beetroot, hazelnuts with balsamic dressing was better, but although the cheese and beetroot were fine, the hazelnuts were not of great quality, and the dressing needed more of the balsamic vinegar to balance it, being a little too oily (11/20).
Pea and mint risotto had rice with decent texture, but the mint dominated – it is such a strong flavour that it can easily take over a dish, as it did here (11/20). Salmon fillet with crushed potatoes and “green beans” actually appeared with kale instead, which was fine in itself. The salmon was cooked correctly but had very little flavour, as sadly is so common these days, and the crushed potatoes needed more seasoning (11/20). Apple crumble had decent enough crumble, but the red fruit with it lacked sharpness, tasting almost like jam, and there was insufficient apple, so the overall effect was not tart enough (10/20). This was still better than a chocolate and Kahlua cheesecake with a soggy base (9/20).
The bill came to £31 a head without service, so cost £35 a head, but this was without wine (we brought our own). Service was excellent albeit the pacing of the dishes was a touch slow. If you shared a modest bottle of wine from the list and had coffee then a realistic bill per person would be £50 a head or so. This is hardly a bargain for food of rather variable quality, with cooking that does not compare well with the best gastropubs in the area. Overall, the food was decent enough for the savoury courses, but there are better places to eat in the vicinity.