Friday, 2 March 2012
Casual Dining at The Butcher's Hook
One thing Fulham is certainly not short of is decent pub dining, and Sarah and I are lucky enough to have sampled from quite a lot of it over the past year or so. However, last Friday was the first time I'd tried out The Butcher's Hook, which sits in a prominent position on the Fulham Road near to Stamford Bridge and Fulham Broadway.
Inside, the décor is a blend of contemporary modern and farmhouse chic, retaining a low key but upmarket gastro-pub ambience. There's plenty of atmospheric lighting, exposed brickwork, brass kitchenware displays and sleek varnished oak woodwork. There was a real mix of locals in there, from the old guys catching up over an ale to whole family groups and gaggles of girl friends, which helps it retain a welcoming, local feel.
The emphasis is firmly on casual dining, and whilst you can get all the pub staples like roast chicken, salmon and new potatoes and steak and chips, many of the dishes have an interesting twist and the starter menu in particular is quite inventive. I tried the pig trotter croquettes with tomato chutney and the spicy chick pea and vegetable fritters with tzatziki, and the croquettes in particular were fantastic. They had an intense smokey flavour and plenty of texture, and the sharpness of the chutney set it off perfectly.The boy sampled the steak and chips, which was a perfectly decent reprisal of the classic pub dish, although the meat was a bit more brown than the requested pink. Drinks are the standard fare but with none of the silly gastro-pub pricing you might expect - so again, this place is perfect for a casual mid-week catch up.
The prices are very reasonable, especially for the area, and there is a really warm, friendly yet quietly elegant atmosphere in there. My only slightly criticism would be that perhaps the service was a little too casual. It took the team quite a long time to take our order, and we saw a few wrong dishes going out to the tables neighbouring us. However, there was absolutely no attitude and the staff were quick and keen to rectify any mistakes made. Overall, I'd recommend the Butcher's Hook for it's local yet modern atmosphere, decent pricing and unfussy experience. It's great for a cheap and easy mid-week dinner with friends whilst maintaining much more ambience than many of the other chain options who might compete for spend in the casual dining sector. Definitely worth checking out!
The Butcher's Hook
477 Fulham Road
London SW6 1HL