The Fat Badger
THIS VENUE IS NOW CLOSED FOR BUSINESS.
SEE ALTERNATIVE Gastropub
This wonderfully open, visually gratifying pub carefully balances modern and traditional in terms of both d?cor and food. High ceilings, sash windows and a feeling of space create an understated calm with the kind of vibe a Scandinavian would warm too, without sacrificing cosiness or using any light pine. Take a look at the wallpaper; on closer inspection the traditional red and white pattern reveals silhouetted scenes of contemporary London from landmarks, like St Paul?s and the Gherkin, to kids boozing on park benches. The young crowd lounge downstairs on the slouchy leather sofas, whilst upstairs a motley gang of faux-antique chairs gather around the dark wood dining tables.
The menu changes frequently offering regulars some variety but the core concept is resolutely British. Dishes range from arcane yet intriguing offal creations like crubeens (pig?s trotter sausage) and lamb?s tongue with salsa verde, to some excellent contemporary seafood. The spiced octopus and mussel stew had magnificent texture and an ample, rounded flavour, whereas the gloriously fresh pan-fried plaice nestled invitingly atop an oily bundle of artichoke and bacon hash. A supporting cast of celery, apple and quince jelly arrive with a selection of native cheeses including a redolent farmy cheddar.
The carefully prepared food is appetising, well presented and - although not hitting the heights of some of London?s best gastropubs - is decent at these low prices. In to the bargain comes a supremely relaxed atmosphere which will see customers flocking to the northern limits of Portobello Road for food, a pint with friends or to just to sit and read the paper.
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