The Plough in Northfields Disappoints

Food does not live up to warm welcome

Related links

The Plough
297, Northfield Avenue, Northfields, W5 4XB

Tel: 08721 077 077

Sign up for an email newsletter from and

The Plough, in Northfields, is one of those pubs I often look at while waiting for the traffic to move and wonder what it's like inside. I finally went in for lunch with my trusted reviewing companion and found out.

It's a lovely Fullers pub with the wider range of Fullers available including Jack Frost and a guest beer which was Adnams. Blonde Leffe was also available on draught which is a particular favourite of mine. The pub is really spacious, could probably seat a couple of hundred before it's packed. It has nice big south facing windows through which the sun poured to make the room feel light and airy, along with a darker, more formal dining room round the back. I did see a large umbrella out in the garden to protect smokers but it was raining too hard to venture outside.

There is a very extensive drinks menu, which is worth a read in itself. It not only lists all the whiskies available but gives you a brief description. The same goes for other spirits, cocktails, coffees, wine, a veritable short book if you find company lacking.

The food menu is also a good, but shorter, read. I was thinking of coming back with a group of people and having the mixed platters to share as starters. There were half a dozen specials of the day and it was really hard making a choice from the menu, with several interesting dishes to choose from. And we ignored the comprehensive list of sandwiches and jacket potatoes that was there as well.

We started off with the cheese fondue, for a minimum of two people. I love a good fondue but it's one of those things that you really need lots of people to enjoy properly and to make it worth the effort so to have it as a starter seems very luxurious. It arrived with very tasty toasted baguette slices, and peppers, carrots and cucumber to dip. However it wasn't cheese fondue. It was cheese sauce fondue, a perfectly nice cheese sauce. But not a fondue. If it had said on the menu that it was a cheese sauce fondue rather than a cheese fondue I wouldn't be quibbling. But it didn't.

Moving on, for my main course I had a lamb steak with roast parsnips and minty green peas, the small variety. It was a very nice piece of lamb which I had asked to be medium rare. Lamb doesn't have to be fully cooked and it is nice to have it pink in the middle or a little rarer, although that's entirely a matter of taste. I'm glad I didn't ask for it rare as it would probably still have been walking. The steak looked anaemic, having not been properly seared and the inside was virtually raw. If it had been beef it would have been well past 'bleu' and almost past 'anglais'. It was good lamb though and a healthy portion. Roast parsnips were nice and crisp on the outside and tasty and soft on the inside. The peas tasted of peas and mint.

My companion had chorizo and pork belly casserole with haricot beans and crusty olive bread. The casserole was very small, quite tasty but nothing that couldn't be easily reproduced at home, nothing memorable about it. Except for the small piece of plastic that was also in the dish. The bread was lovely and had real olives in and a decent texture that made it very enjoyable.

We didn't explore puddings, or coffees, or even complaining. The pub had felt so very warm and welcoming when we walked in, the staff were so very pleasant and the menu so interesting that we felt greatly disappointed and left quickly. It was under £40 for two courses and drinks for us both. I have heard other people had very good meals there and it is entirely possible that we went when the chef was having a bad day. But a menu half the size that lived up to the promises would turn the pub into a regular venue for me.

Kath Richardson

December 15, 2009

Bookmark and Share