Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Fellow review King's Cross gastropub - duck hearts on toast anyone?


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Address: 24 York Way, London N1 9AA
Tel: 020 7833 4395
Nearest Tube station: King's Cross

Ratings (out of 5 *)
Price: Below £25pp
Service charge: 12.5%
Taste: ****
Service: ***
Ambience: ***
What caught my eye was the the The Fellow's display board placed along York Way. Boardgames and wifi said it. I'm a sucker for boardgames and used to spend hours over the likes of Agricola and Ticket to Ride at boardgame cafes back home. I even dragged Wife along on some occasions an I suspect she has never forgiven me for that.

So there we were on a Sunday afternoon just on our way back from Sean Smith's Frontlines exhibition at King's Place looking for a pitstop and The Fellow looked like a place as good as any.

Right at the top of the menu was a notice stating that still water comes free. Already things were looking good. Sunday roasts was the order of the day. Wife went for the beef while I fancied some lamb instead.

"The duck hearts seem interesting," Wife noted. And the duck hearts were added to our order. I can perfectly understand why innards isn't everyone's cup of tea. Well, Wife and I grew up in families that were rather adventurous with good. Livers, hearts, stomachs, tongues, intestines (both big and small) were the norm on our dining tables. I believe there was even sheep's brain somewhere along the way. Well, they are basically protein, iron and of course cholesterol so it isn't too bad when you think of it that way.

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If you have not tried any innards thus far, The Fellow's pan-fried duck hearts on toast (£6) would be a good place to start. Juicy, tender and springy, the duck hearts are tossed lightly in butter and served on a thick toast. Look at it as a meaty bruschetta and I assure you that you'll never look back.

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My roast leg of lamb (£14.50) was a spread. The Fellow's Sunday roasts are all served with duck fat roast potatoes, root vegetables, greens and Yorkshire puddings. If I have to point out one thing brilliant about the dish, it would have to be the mint sauce. It was smooth with a generous sprinkle of finely chopped mint leaves. Slathering that flavorful mint sauce on a chunk of the lamb is something that I can get used to.

I have long given up on ready made Yorkshire puddings purchased from supermarkets. Freshly made ones aren't that regularly shaped but that's the whole point; you don't know what you would end up with. If done right, homemade Yorkshire puddings are lighter on the palate and would trumped factory made ones any day. And the ones churned out at The Fellow's kitchen were exactly that.

Wife weren't too impressed by The Fellow's roast topside of beef (£15). Came with a healthy scoop of horseradish cream, it just didn't hav the same kick as the lamb and its uberlicous mint sauce. I thought that it could be less tough.

After the meal, I spread The Sunday Telegraph (compliments of The Fellow) with an English Breakast tea in my hand. A group of six took up a table behind us. One of them went to the counter and came back with Scrabble and began setting it up. Belong long, they were quibbling about the legality of a certain word. A perfect way to spend a nice Sunday afternoon.

While The Fellow isn't exactly a family pub, it definitely feels inviting and big thanks to the staff's friendly service. And I do mean it when I told the bartender that I'll be back if only for the duck hearts.


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