Saturday, 13 November 2010

The Peasant review - Clerkenwell gastropub with a feel good factor

Address: 240 St John Street,
London EC1V 4PH
Tel: 020 7490 1089
Nearest Tube station: Angel

Ratings (out of 5 *)
Price: below £15 pp
Service charge: 12.5%
Taste: ***
Service: ***
Ambience: ****
“What’s crisp lamb fry?” Wife asks unwittingly. “It’s lambs’ testicles,’ the guy serving us at The Peasant answers in a deadpan face. “Oh…”.

I consider myself rather adventurous when it comes to food. I love pig’s blood (it’s really like iron packed soft tofu). Pig’s intestine comes a close second. Frankly it goes well with rice. I don’t mind chicken feet especially after I got over the image of a particular scene in a cannibalism film I stumbled upon as a kid. I’ve even experimented with sheep’s brain and find the squishy nature quite objectionable.

But I draw the line at testicles or any reproductive organs for that matter.


Wife is looking rather disconcerted at this point and I am trying not to think about the eunuch lamb. I get a feeling that the man hovering over us is enjoying every single bit of this. Wife ends up with fish and chips while I go for the burger. If I am to have any testicles, I will want that meshed up in a meat patty.

After getting over the initial trauma, Wife picks up the menu again and asks, “What’s a North Sea sprat?” I held my breath. “It’s a type of sardine,” came the swift answer.” Really, that’s it? With a name like sprat it could very well be the eyeballs of some sea monster that never sees the sunlight till it is dragged to the surface by a trawler.


Anyway, we go for that and it is delish. The ale-battered North Sea sprats (£5.50) with some paprika sprinkled on it is finger smacking good when we dipped it into the accompanying mayo. The size of a regular fat chip, this is a must order even if you are coming in just for a pint.


Fish and chips is a bit pricy at £10.50. Wife is abit two minds about the grubby looking peas. While it shows that it’s not scooped out from a pre-packed container, it certainly doesn’t look appetizing. For that price, you get a whole lot of skin on chips, which is somewhat over fried. There is so much chips to go around that the second person can just get by ordering just the fish. The fish itself is fine but nothing to shout about really.


I go for The Peasant burger (£10.50). It comes with cheese, bacon, chilli relish, tomato and more skin on chips. While the melted cheese over the patty is a delight, they go overboard with the mayo that simply drowns out everything else. For what it’s worth, The Peasant burger features the thickest patty that I have every come across.

The Peasant has got this good feel of a local pub. Apparently, a good section of the pub, which boosts a sizable seating area on the first floor, was reserved for an engagement party that day. Towards the end of our meal, the bride trooped in with her mates and promptly showed her ring to the guy who was serving us earlier. He promptly put on the ring much to the amusement of everyone.


Not only that, The Peasant’s décor reminds us of Old Queen’s Head. It is eclectic with a tinge of quirkiness. It is, in short, the kind of pub that you’ll like to have in your neighbourhood.

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Krista said...

Making me sad...The Peasant was right down the street from my flat. I think they've changed chefs quite a few times. (I particularly liked when they had a Kiwi chef and did a Kiwi burger with a big hunk of beetroot and a big fried egg on it.) But it was always good pub food.

C K said...

Kiwis (and Aussies for that matter) do know their burgers, don't they? Caravan at Exmouth Market is a case in point.

Do you go to The Peasant nowadays?