For those looking to enjoy a hearty gastro pub meal, suitable for all the family, then this may be the one for you. The Phoenix is perfectly located for those currently enjoying a bit of London site seeing, as it is only a couple of Royal mews and Buckingham palace. We noticed many tourists enjoying a meal on our visit, although these patrons seemed to be victims of the current Olympic madness, rather than the standard group of snappy tourists. The Phoenix is just 5 minutes from Victoria Station, but you may have to consult your map in order to find it.
This seemed to be an ideal venue for families, as there was a plethora of seating arrangements; some small, some tall and some sofa-like seating, therefore making it easy to cater for families of all shapes and sizes. We popped in for lunch and we found the food to be rustic and fun, rather than super high quality.
To begin with we tried the chicken liver parfait, with chutney and toasted sour dough. This was a lovely way to start the meal and came served on a charming wooden platter. The parfait seemed to tick of the boxes in terms of taste and seasoning, but we really enjoyed the chutney. The menu claims to `showcase the fresh seasonal ingredients whilst reminding all how good traditional British food can be`, and the two dishes we tried did live up to this billing, as they were a pleasure to eat.
Weekly specials are available, but we went for two of the gastro pub`s staple foods – a good old burger and chips, along with beer battered cod and chips. The beer battered cod, chips pea puree and tartar sauce was reasonably light and had all the hallmarks of a good traditional pub dish. With the char-grilled burger, with hand cut chips and pickles, we found the burger was well seasoned and I really appreciated its char-grilled taste. However, it was really quite dry, even though it was cooked to medium rare, which I found a little puzzling – how does a medium rare piece of beef become dry? Thankfully, the burger came with a gorgeous chilli jam dressing and this made the meal for me.
We did try desert, but it wasn`t great. The apple pie was really poor; it was soggy, lacking flavour and really didn`t step up to the mark. This was a let-down to another wise lovely meal.
Drinks at the Phoenix were akin to most bars in the area and offered a range of draught lagers, good value wines and other standard tipples. For me, a fan of simple pleasures such as an ice cold glass of Peroni, this was fine. But for those looking to discover some really interesting and new ales, this may not satisfy your cravings.
If you wonder just a little off the beaten track and stumble upon the Phoenix, then you will be rewarded with tasty and hearty British food. When asked if I would rush back there, I would probably say no – It just wasn`t individual enough for me and seemed to be another imitation of the current gastro pub trend.
For more information: http://www.geronimo-inns.co.uk/thephoenixinvictoria/
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