An Unplanned Review For A Scrumptious O'Briens
Eat, drink and enjoy
I was not intending to review O'Briens. I went there for a Christmas lunchtime gathering last week, looking forward to relaxing and enjoying some good company.
I have often walked past and wondered what the inside was like. It looks like a locals pub, I'm not sure why. The inside is very different from my expectations. It's a small cosy space with room for those who want to hog the bar and those who wish to sit back in comfort at the tables. There certainly appeared a good group of regulars, but there was also a warm welcome for strangers. Without a doubt it has the most intricate Christmas decorations I have seen this winter which are worth a look at. It's a pub full of wood: wooden floors, nice plain classic wooden tables and a cosy fire with a bright bar make it feel more like a cosy sitting room than a public bar.
O'Briens is one of the two real ale pubs in Brentford, having won Richmond & Hounslow Branch Pub of the Year 2007 & Runner up in 2008. It is Cask Mark approved and serves four real ales, plus a good selection of bottled ales and a variety of lagers. I had a lovely pint of Wychwood's Hobgoblin only ever obtainable on draught in the winter months. For the non beer drinkers there is an extensive wine list, offering a small or large glass or indeed a whole bottle ranging between £10-16 for a bottle, with glasses starting at £2.70
Then, there was the food, a comprehensive blackboard ranging from fish finger baguette with tartare sauce to panfried duck breast with baby tomatoes, and a healthy portion of broccoli and mash. Prices went from £5.95 up to £7.95 which is very cheap for the quality and portion served.
I can vouch for the mushroom chicken kiev, which was tender and moist, garlicky, tasting of chicken and mushroom. I had given up on kievs as they all seem shop bought, dry and tasteless. This was completely the opposite. My dish came with chips which were perfect and coleslaw which I really enjoyed. Again it's something I don't choose as it's either too vinegary or too creamy to taste but the vegetables were nice and crisp with the dressing just perfect and complementing the taste.
As for my companions, scampi and chips had perfect batter and the dish also got a milk free vote. The mushroom stroganoff was really creamy, hot and fresh with perfect rice in just the right proportions without feeling that the mushrooms were too skimpy. Even the ploughman's was impressive, with a nice crunchy warm baguette, a good slab of cheese, two different pickles, pickled onions and baby beetroot as well as some salad. The duck breast was beautifully presented and very tasty.
We sat there and decided that people should know about this pub. Real ale, good pub food at a very reasonable price.
December 21, 2009