The Pelican pub in west London joins the list of new “pubs” which are raising their food game – though it’s fair to debate whether these are actual pubs in the true sense of the word or indeed restaurants within old pubs. We don’t feel strongly enough to join the social media beef and instead we’ll stick to just eating the beef on our plates.
The pub has been around since 1870 though its most recent incarnation was The Italian Job and it’s safe to say The Pelican today is a marked improvement. There’s a lot of talent behind the pub: James Gummer, who has 7 Saints down the road; Phil Winser, who was one of the people behind NYC’s The Fat Radish (RIP); and Head Chef Owen Kenworthy, who was the original chef at Brawn when it opened.
The menu is seasonal European, with lots of classic pub dishes elevated through the use of amazing ingredients and more modern spins. Sausage rolls, mince on toast, monkfish scampi, smoked potatoes, bavette steak and lobster pie are a few examples from when we visited. It’s a tough menu to choose from, the dishes really all sell themselves.
We had a crunchy ham hock cake served with peppery radishes and egg mayo, a bowl of juicy tomatoes with a delightful acidic dressing and steak tartare served with crinkled crisps to start with some rather nice natural fizz. It’s worth noting the wine list is very well put together with some great skin contacts, British labels and more safe options for the oldies at the table. For mains we had a plank of mash – sure #wewantplates but when it’s a wooden board filled with a huge circle of mash then we’ll happily take the plank. The mash came with chicken and mushroom pie with a pot of gravy and a beautiful duck breast.
If you can fit a dessert in after all that food then you’re doing really well and we recommend that you give it your best shot. We shared the stewed plums with ginger crumb and custard, which was surprisingly light. Like the menu, the guys have done a great job on the interiors, creating a light filled airy space whilst retaining some classic pub features including a dartboard.
Pub, restaurant, gastro-pub whatever you want to call it The Pelican is a great addition to the London dining scene and one we’ll definitely be rushing back to.
45 All Saints Rd, London W11 1HE