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Friday, 4 July 2014

The Queen's Arms

The Queen’s Arms is a fab little pub in the centre of Walthamstow village. It’s got a lovely secluded beer garden with vines, trellis, strings of outdoor lights and even a mural. It’s full of yummy mummies and their Cockapoos brunching at the weekends, and groups of hipsters drinking locally brewed real ales during the evenings. It’s probably the sort of place regulars of the “propa booza” would curse as the collapse of the true East End, but hey, they do good food and it’s not too pretentious… well, only a little.

Dad is over paying us a visit while he does some finance stuff in the city so very kindly offered to treat us to a pie and mash plate of devilled kidneys and seabass with samphire. 

Kate paid us a visit with her friend’s little Australian Cattle dog - Chihuahua cross who she was petsitting (I’d not heard of the breed either). Her name is Ellie. Normally I'm not keen on little dogs because they're a bit yappy and I'm afraid I'll squash them or tread on them, but she was very sweet. She sat and behaved very well while we perused our menus.

So now, the food. A zingy Asian pork salad with beansprouts, grated carrot and coriander. Hot devilled kidneys on toast in a peppery reduction. Scotch quails egg with black pudding and fiery mustard. Oozing and charred chorizo pieces in spitting red oil.

My main was one of the best steaks I’ve ever had. 32 day aged Galloway ribeye. Honestly, it was pink, succulent, cut like butter and really juicy. But the best bit was the dressing. I couldn’t work out what was in it though. Some sort of herb, maybe chervil, but I’ll have to go back to either taste it again or ask the waiter. (I’d had a few glasses of wine by this point so my senses were perhaps a little dulled). Served with watercress and fat pub chips, it was so simple but that dressing took it up a notch. 

Tomasz had seabass with a lemon butter sauce, wild mushrooms and samphire. For Kate and Dad, slices of soft pink lamb on a bed of big beans and a pesto sauce. Mine was the best by far. Ellie didn’t get a look in so I had to give her lots of cuddles to make up for it. 

We decided to have dessert. Normally I don’t have pudding, it must have been the wine. We did it for the photos, of course but I was very full. Kate had a thick slice of chocolate mousse with honey comb bricks on top and salted caramel ice cream. This was incredibly rich, and the base wasn’t as crunchy as it should have been. Mine was a vanilla panacotta with strawberries, balsamic vinegar and a pistachio biscotti. The panacotta was a little jelly like for me. I think a touch too much gelatine was used and it lost some of the creamy texture it should have had. They did look rather beautiful, but not as good as the starters and mains.  

We took a very sleepy pup back home to have a rest before she was whisked away for her last night at Hotel Regent (Kate’s place). She didn’t look too happy wrapped in tartan, I think she actually preferred our bed! 

Check out the pub website here. We went on Wednesday and didn't book. Last orders are 10pm. 

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