The Jericho Tavern on Walton Street has many strings to its bow. Not only is it a friendly pub with a good list of real ales, it also allows dogs in the main room, hosts many great live gigs and events, serves a big selection of nice food, and as I learnt last night, has a really nice and fairly big garden full of greenery, pretty lighting and comfy chairs; a real hidden gem in the heart of Jericho behind the pub.
I have had many lovely meals there at winter time in the main room, but this summer meal in the pub garden was a new experience. As the sunlight gradually faded, the garden remained well-lit and the wall of fairy lights sprang to life at around 9pm. The garden has two sections, including one which is covered (luckily it was a clear evening last night but it was nice to know we were safe even if it had rained).
For the meal, my guest and I shared the "vegetable patch" platter, which was a generous board piled high with vegetarian goodies. My highlight were the curried beans, which were deliciously spiced and well complemented by the chunks of crusty white bread which accompanied the platter. In general, the food was well cooked, mainly chargrilled or deep-fried; nothing was overdone. The rosemary and lemon breaded courgettes, for example, were almost raw and thus perfectly textured. Their lemon provided a further freshness, and the light breading was crisp and not too oily. My date with the chargrilled asparagus was also a very enjoyable, no-strings-attached affair, which I will remember with fondness.
Across the board, the flavours could have been more intense; the 'spicy cauliflower fritters' were not particularly spicy, and the houmous was mainly salty without the strong garlicky flavour which one might expect. My companion noted this with disdain, before experiencing the shock of a whole garlic clove which had been embedded in the melting camembert, in a moment reminding us both that you must be careful what you wish for!
With our meal, we had a glass of wine each. Mine was a sweet New Zealand white and my guest had a Californian rosé, and both were delicious and just what we wanted - the waiter at the bar was able to tell us all about all the wines available, which was impressive and appreciated. The staff were indeed very obliging in general; the service was fast, and they treated us in a friendly and polite manner throughout.
Our meal came to £32.60, for two glasses of wine, a huge meal for two, and a side portion of chips. We had planned to have pudding but there ended up being no space in our happy tummies.
I already liked the Jericho Tavern a lot, and now I like it even more - recommended!