Prince of Wales

138 Upper Richmond Road, London, England, SW15 2SP, United Kingdom

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The Prince of Wales is the sister restaurant of the Bull & Last in Gospel Oak. The similarity in philosophy is evident from the blackboard proudly listing the various suppliers of the restaurant, such as Murrays Fresh Fish and Secretts Farm for vegetables. The compact dining room has bare wooden floors and tables, with the kitchen pass visible in one corner. At the Bull & Last there is a trio of stuffed bull’s heads on the wall, but here we have to make do with a single rabbit head on display.

Here are brief notes from a meal in October 2011.

Bread, both onion bread and plain rolls, were serve warm and were well made (15/20). Wood pigeon Kiev was paired with figs and a salad with a peppery dressing (14/20). Burger and chips were genuinely classy, with good meat, crisp lettuce and excellent chips. Service was friendly and attentive. With a good bottle of New Zealand Riesling the bill came to just £40 a head, including service.

What follows are notes from a meal in April 2009.

The short menu is a little fancier than the one at the Bull & Last, reflecting the training of the chef Dominic Robinson, previously at Trinity and recently Tom Aikens. However we are still firmly in pub territory here. Starters were around £6, mains £10 - £15, vegetables £3.50 and desserts £5.50 - £8. The two page wine list was split between French and the new World. Examples are Duckbill Pinot Noir 2006 at £26 for a wine that costs around £7 in the shops, Marengo Pinot Grigio 2007 at £16 for a wine costing around £6 retail, and Mount Difficulty Pinot Gris 2007 at £29 compared to a shop price of about £17.

One thing of which I heartily approve is that the bread here is made from scratch, a choice of soda bread and excellent sourdough. This had excellent texture and was properly seasoned (16/20). Wild garlic broth was pleasant enough if a little thin, but correctly seasoned (12/20). An eel salad with apples and leaves dressed with lemon and marjoram dressing was a good idea, but needed more eel relative to the apple (12/20).

Haddock was deep fried in beer batter (using Fullers London Pride beer) and had both tasty fish and good, crisp batter (14/20). Triple-cooked chips were for me, just a little lacking in crispness; I suspect a few extra degrees for the oil at the final stage would help, but these were still better chips than you will find almost anywhere in London (15/20). A pre-dessert of pistachio parfait with orange sorbet, pomegranate seeds and Turkish delight had light texture and was a neat combination of textures and ingredients (14/20). Apple and prune crumble had good texture and carefully made vanilla ice cream (14/20). Personally I found the menu a little less immediately appealing than that of the Bull & Last, as I felt the chef was trying to be just a bit fancier than pub food really calls for, but this is a matter of personal taste. Service from our Australian waitress was friendly and capable, and this is very good food indeed.

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