Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Far From The Braying Sloanes - Super Supper at The Sands End

If there is one thing that our beautiful borough is not short of, it's pubs.

From The Durell to The Duke on the Green, SW6 boasts a vast array of establishments all vying to provide the local twenty-something masses with their weekly fix of gin and slim.

But there's one pub in the area that holds a very special place in my heart.

Some plump for the Sloaney Pony (White Horse), others have fallen for The Phene, but the pub that gets the number one spot on my list is The Sands End. Every time.

Nestled in the quiet side-streets off the bustling Wandsworth Bridge Road and big sister to The Brown Cow on the Fulham Road, The Sands End is bit off the beaten track. But despite its elusive location, it's always busy; full of savvy SW6ers in the know about what this hidden gem has to offer.

When I say busy, I don't mean The White Horse busy. There's no need to get the commuting elbows out to get to the bar. Far from the braying Sloanes and the "Tobes, can you grab a Doombar for Giles, mate?" barks across the beer pumps, it's busy in the best kind of way. Enough people to gauge its popularity, without feeling like a sardine tin.

Plus, it gets right what so many other pubs in the area fail to. The food.

The food at The Sands End is absolutely fantastic.

On a recent visit, I went along with my boyfriend to sample the delights of the updated menu, and chef Olly certainly did not disappoint.

The pollock sashimi starter is an updated version of a longstanding favourite. Light and full of fresh, crisp flavours, the pollock is caught in Cornwall each morning and plated up to the masses after Olly has worked his magic on it the very same day.

Another newbie to the starter selection is the crab and scallop raviolo. A delicious parcel of perfectly cooked pasta, filled with meaty fish and covered in a creamy and rich sauce, which was devoured very happily.

Chuffed with how well we'd ordered our starters, our appetites had been truly whetted for the main course.

James went for what I can only describe as every man's dream meal: beef rib in a barbecue glaze, served with macaroni cheese and coleslaw. The meat fell off the bone, and the sticky sweet barbecue sauce was fantastic alongside the macaroni cheese. I know this, because I demanded more than one mouthful. Obviously. This dish really wouldn't have looked out of place at a far pricier Hawksmoor-style establishment.

Convinced by our excellent waiter, Fred, I opted for another new addition to the menu - risotto with hake. Without wanting to go all Gregg Wallace on you, this really was the most amazingly balanced plate of food I think I have ever eaten. The flavours were amazing.

We rounded off our dinners with a delicious, but totally unnecessary chocolate mousse. (What blogger worth their salt would be so unthinking as to not try the puddings?!)

Not only is The Sands End superb in the food it produces, it's also very reasonably priced for what they serve. Starters range from around £6 - £9, and mains start at about £15. Granted, the beef rib is £20, but you'd pay £30 for it elsewhere.

You don't even have to go the whole hog and have a massive meal either. Pop along for a pint and a bar snack! Their Scotch eggs are to die for, and their sausage rolls are pretty darn good, too.

Thanks to the team at The Sands End that made our evening so memorable. We'll no doubt be back again soon!

The Sands End
135-137 Stephendale Road
020 7731 7823

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