The Watermans Arms will not be winning any design awards, and despite its riverside location there is no direct view of the Thames. However there is a pleasant little garden at the back in fine weather, and it has the charming Gordon Fry as landlord and chef. Gordon has a Japanese wife and lived in Japan, and as well as pub staples like fish and chips he serves Japanese izakaya food.
Tonight I started with chicken oyakodonburi, which is diced chicken, peas and onion cooked with mirin and soy sauce and served on a bed of rice. This was a hearty and enjoyable dish, the mirin giving a hint of sweetness (easily 12/20).
A special tonight was duck yakisoba, egg noodles that are stir fried with vegetables and nori and flavoured with ginger and soy. The duck was cooked pink and the ginger flavour came through very well, the noodles having good texture (13/20).
We rarely make it to the dessert stage here since the portions are very generous, but tonight managed a very enjoyable rum and chocolate mousse cake, which came with some raspberry coulis that cut through the richness of the chocolate (12/20).
The bill came to just £28 a head, which seems to me good value given the very enjoyable food that is served here. Service is friendly and Mr Fry is an excellent host, happy to chat about his times in Japan if he has any spare time in between cooking.