Having recently made the transition from an old-fashioned boozer to a gastropub – just as the word ‘gastropub’ has lost all meaning, according to the Zagat restaurant guide – the spacious and beautifully decorated establishment draws a grown-up crowd of well-heeled locals.
THE GRUB: The avocado and shrimp cocktail starter served in a Martini glass doesn’t even hide its 1970s influence, but it is nonetheless tempting. We also taste the shank and chicken croquettes served with piccalilli, which lack inspiration but are quite tasty. For main courses, we order Guinness steak and pie served with mash and gravy. It’s filling and warming, like all good pies should be.
The guinea fowl breast and confit thigh are well done and satisfyingly rich, but a little less meat and more creamy leeks and peas, and the tender potatoes wouldn’t go astray. Among the desserts, we try a decadent banoffe pie, sporting the thickest layer of cream I’ve ever seen on a candy. Which, along with the large portion of the delicious chocolate mousse with cocoa and amaretti, sends our cholesterol levels
towards the Moon.
BEHIND THE BAR: The wine list has been put together by someone with a sense of adventure and offers a selection of the old and new worlds. We fall for a Nieto Reserve Malbec 2010, which goes perfectly with the tart.
PLEASE BILL: A 12.5% service charge is levied, but the menu makes it clear that it is split among the staff, as it should be.
VERDICT: The Rosendale is really, really good and helps give meaning to the term “gastropub”. With a few tweaks, it could be sensational – the kind of destination you would drive through town for.
65 Rosendale Road, SE21 8EZ
Tube: West Dulwich
Review: Alison Grinter