You should always be suspicious of reviews by food writers who are writing up places within walking distance of where they live; there is inevitably a tendency to be favourably disposed. It is for this reason that I tried three separate meals here before adding this to the web site, as I wanted to be sure. The Roebuck is a Chiswick pub that is a revamp of a long-established pub that had gone to seed. At the back of the pub is a large dining room, serving food that is just a little more ambitious than one might expect but still with appealing bistro classics like Cumberland sausages and cote de boeuf. Starters were £5 - £7, main courses £9.50 - £16.50 and desserts mostly £5. They do a very respectable fish and chips.
Brief notes from a typical meal follow.
Chicken liver parfait was quite good, with smooth texture and good liver taste, served with toast and chutney (12/20). Angus beef burger and chips had reasonable meat, but a poor quality catering bun; chips, while hand-cut, suffered from the usual issues with double-cooked chips of being insufficiently crisp on the outside, which was odd given that I have eaten quite reasonable chips here previously (11/20). Bramley apple crumble was not bad, with crumble of good consistency and apples that were cooked through properly (12/20).
A meal in October 2009 was as follows.
I began with a simple but enjoyable mackerel pâté on toast, the pâté having plenty of mackerel taste and fairly smooth texture (12/20).A leek and potato soup was home-made and properly seasoned, with a pleasantly warming effect on this wild evening of heavy rain (11/20). Loch Duart salmon was roasted and served with crushed potatoes flavoured with lemon and parsley, with braised fennel; and salsa verde. The fish was properly timed, and the vegetables cooked well, while the salsa verde added a little bite to the dish (11/20).Roast free range chicken breast was served with a cake of bacon and potato, alongside some leeks, the chicken garnished with a tarragon cream sauce. The chicken was correctly cooked, the bacon and potato cake could have been crisper, but the cream sauce worked well enough (11/20).Hand-cut chips were quite good, being crispy and decently seasoned (12/20).
Desserts actually moved up a gear.A warm fig and almond tart had very good pastry, and was served with a smooth honey ice cream (13/20).A dark chocolate truffle cake was a little dense, but nonetheless had nice chocolate flavour, served with a vanilla ice cream with proper vanilla flavour (12/20).Service was very friendly and came across as genuine.
At another meal, I had very good celeriac soup, the soup well seasoned and having plenty of celeriac taste (13/20).Venison haunch was cooked pink and served on a bed of decent red cabbage, salsify and cooking juices flavoured with rosemary (12/20).Sea bream was pan-fried accurately, and served on a bed of crushed potatoes and Swiss chard (13/20).
Service has been very friendly on my visits here, and dishes arrive at a steady pace. This is not a destination gastropub like the Harwood Arms, but it is nonetheless very pleasant.