Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Restaurant review: The Victoria (East Sheen)

The Victoria in East Sheen is a gastro-pub converted in a modern restaurant. It used to look like a pub, with a conservatory, a garden and a climbing frame to keep kids at arms' length during Summer dinners. They even had a table football and home made lemonade for teenagers. The old bar is now gone to make way for more tables and the the teenager corner is more like a café corner.

We decided to pay a visit to that old favourite a few weeks back, on a Friday night. The place was moderately busy yet we were made to wait at the bar for our table. Service has never been a strong point at the Victoria but they're friendly.
We had some lamb sweetbreads with a morel cream and gnocchis. A bit sweet but delicious. And a sirloin with béarnaise, chips and watercress. Good as usual. Lamb rump with a Lebanese mezze. Good also but not as filling as expected. And some chocolate steamed pud wich was quite nice.
The menu also boasted a monkfish saltimbocca with spiced aubergine and curried lentils which attracted my attention, seems creative and nice. We had a bottle of beaujolais to wash this and the bill came at £120 for three.

To me, this seems outside the gastro-pub sphere and plays serious restaurant business. And this is the point I struggle with. Yes, the food is good but not as refined as say The Glasshouse or Redmond's which are around the corner. The service is the real let down. Value for money is no longer there with mains ranging from £11 to £20.

Verdict: good but now overpriced.

PS: they have bedrooms and they're quite nice. But where they were £85-ish four years ago, they're now priced at £98 (and that's an internet special deal!) but broadband is now include.

The Victoria
10 West Temple Sheen, London SW14 7RT
tel: 020 8876 4238

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