INFORMATION : HEREFORD ROAD
Try not to be put off by the bare interior of Hereford Road (there’s not a single picture on the walls) – Tom Pemberton’s British cooking provides all the visual nourishment you’ll need. Pemberton worked for the ground-breaking St John Bread & Wine, and the influence of Fergus Henderson is apparent.
He is not afraid to serve long-forgotten dishes such as bath chaps (cured pigs’ cheeks), accompanied ever so simply, but most enjoyably, by watercress and mustard. Deep-fried devilled sprats with tartare sauce was another solid success of our meal. Slow cooking is a particular forte of the kitchen, and a braised rabbit leg with fennel and bacon was so delicious that we scraped every morsel from the plate. The menu changes daily, and seasonality plays a big part; in the spring, fresh and vibrant Yorkshire rhubarb, which had been poached, came with a textbook buttermilk pudding.
Sensible pricing (the set lunch is a bargain) and willing service are further reasons why this restaurant continues to be highly popular, so it’s easy to forgive wooden chairs that could be more comfortable (try to relax on the diner-style red leather sofas). The Old World wine list isn’t long, but has adequate options by the glass and half-litre carafe.