Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pubs I Feel Incredibly "Meh" About: The Duke of Cambridge, Islington

Since I've moved to Angel, everyone has been waxing lyrical about this organic pub located on the corner of Rheidol Terrace and St Peter's St, but after having dinner there on Saturday night, I'm just not so sure.

First of all, £17.50 and upwards for mains?  You gotta be kidding me.  I don't care if you caught the fish and brought it to me flapping personally from Loch Whatever, but those prices are quite high for pub fare, in my opinion - even for an "upscale" pub. £12-£15 I can understand but once you hit £20 and over, I'm just not amused.  My beer battered cod was certainly not worth the price and worse yet, gave me an upset stomach.  The chips were soggy, cold and flavorless.  Perhaps the only redeeming aspect were the mushy "somethings" (not sure if they were peas, but rather some kind of unappetizing grey matter that resembled jail-house slop you see in cartoons) that were quite tasty if not a tad too garlicky.   Dishes were given a similar rating by friends: good, but not remarkable.  No one exclaimed, "Delishush!" while chomping on morsels of pork belly, salmon or roast chicken.

I asked John for a Diet Coke and he returned from the bar apologetically with a "sparkling cola drink made with vegetable extracts and natural ingredients".  "It's like the cheap stuff but way more expensive!" he said enthusiastically while plonking it down on the table, referring to the Timothy Taylor pubs that serve their own brews (though strangely, I'm a huge fan of those and don't mind drinking tiny sarsaparilla-flavored beverages.  For my after-dinner treat, I didn't dare stretch my pre-payday wallet any further with an overpriced dessert, so I settled on a Bailey's - only to be told there wasn't any (or anything like it - not even an imitation made from vegetable extracts and natural ingredients) and was given a rather disgusting chocolate liqueur to sample instead.  Retch.

There's no doubt it's a gathering place for the cooler-than-cools - everyone is impeccably groomed and seemingly outfitted by Reiss.  But it's just not my cup of tea - or should I say, glass of bitter?  Seems like I'm not the only one who thinks it doesn't live up to the hype.

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