Halfway House Review – Published on Blue Tomato Reviews

Do you ever get that feeling of deja-vu? I had it the other night meeting my housemate at Earlsfield station and heading in to the first pub we saw – The Halfway House. We’d been due to go for a house viewing and were early, so obviously stopped in at the first pub we saw to check out what our potential local might be like.

My fellow Blue Tomato-ites had mentioned this little gem was up for review and had been refurbished, and so I jumped at the chance of eating somewhere local-ish to my flat and not in Central London. On seeing the blue and grey Young’s pub as soon as we exited the station, it was distinctively different to how it had been on our previous visit. The pub was homely before and still had that cosy feeling, but seemed somewhat younger with its refreshed look and quirky wall décor.

Whilst perusing the menu, we opted for a deliciously smooth on the palate 2010 Rioja Crianza (£20.15 per bottle), helpfully starred on the menu as one of the pub’s favourites. The taste of red berries proved to be a good choice especially for a cold winter evening!

My flatmate annoyingly chose exactly what I wanted, and I have a weird thing about ordering the same dish, so we decided on a menu that we could both enjoy! First up was the warm grilled peach with a Frisée and goat’s cheese salad (£6.50) served in an almost bohemian fashion in a dainty teacup, and was a flavour combination that blew both our minds – we are totally (and probably unsuccessfully) going to try it at home. We also enjoyed Pan roasted pigeon breast cooked perfectly with confit leeks and a celeriac puree (£7).

In between courses, we took it upon ourselves to admire the new décor; I loved the wall that looked like a house with fake windows that each displayed something different and it was rather amusing to play spot the puffin on the wall behind us that showcased numerous birds. I chose to eat Twice cooked crispy pork belly (£13.50), which was served with seasonal greens, a slice of black pudding and Kentish apple sauce. I don’t normally cook pork at home, so like to eat it when I am out and this didn’t disappoint – the description was not wrong, this pork was crispy as hell, in a very good way! My housemate enjoyed the Rope grown mussels with creamy leeks (£11), suffice to say we both lapped up the Aspall Suffolk cider sauce the with the garlic bread it was served with, and had no one been looking we probably would have slurped up the dregs straight from the bowl. Instead we dipped my hand cut chips with truffle oil (£3.50) in, which for me, are always a great choice of side as I am slightly addicted to anything truffle based.

Desserts were all appropriately priced at £6, meaning it would have been rude not to have one… and hey, there is always room for dessert in my book anyway! So, as per deputy manager Ed’s recommendation, I ordered the Chocolate “brookie” sandwich with salted caramel ice cream, partly because of the name and partly due to my penchant for salted caramel…yes this menu had a lot of things I loved! In essence, I devoured some standard salted caramel ice cream, sandwiched between two slabs of chocolate brownie, which were of just the right chewy consistency. My housemate opted for another dish in a teacup: Lemon posset with rosehip shortbread. After a three-course meal, this rather large teacup got the better of her and despite the gorgeously creamy lemon mix inside, she couldn’t finish it.

We both ended our meals, bellies so full that we had to undo our top buttons, and just about managed to run and make our train – thank goodness it’s opposite the station! Like one of the many artworks said: we came, we relaxed and we enjoyed a whale of a good time!

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Originally published for Blue Tomato Reviews – see the article here.

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