Monday, 29 August 2011

The Magdala in Hampstead

The Magdala

This gastro pub reopened on Saturday 27th August after a refurbishment. It had been well done with the main room being light and airy. It was also local and as they took the Tastecard we decided to make a visit for lunch today. It's the infamous establishment where David Blakley was shot when coming out of the pub by Ruth Ellis, who was the last woman that was executed in the UK. For more information see link. Ruth Ellis Link

When we got to the pub I ordered the usual Hendricks and tonic and a pint of Strongbow, so was surprised to find that just a gin turned up without tonic and was then told they only had slim line tonic – which I don't personally like as I don't like the after taste, so it didn't start well.

The menu looked great, but different from the one advertised on the website, it wasn't extensive which I like, I don't like it when there is so much on the menu it's difficult to choose. I've also said that I like it when there are dishes that jump of the menu and you think I must have it. With this in mind I ordered pigeon breast with spinach, new potatoes and beetroot, which was very good. The pigeon was a little pink in the middle, just how I like it and the potatoes and beetroot where firm and tasty. My partner had duck liver pate, which I have to be honest looked a little green around the edges for me, but was very tasty and had great background flavours of garlic and cream. They also served enough toast to eat with the pate (so many times I've been to restaurants and had to ask for more toast as they never serve enough).

For our main course I ordered pork belly, with mustard mash and vegetables and my partner had home made burger with cheddar cheese, chips with a salad garnish. The pork belly was a complete disappointment, it had been overcooked and was incredibly dry and on one side it looked almost burnt. The mustard mash was okay, with a great hint of mustard and the vegetables were just average. The beef pattie was far too small for the bun, which smothered the pattie, but is was well cooked. The chips where perfectly cooked and where very fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

I did break my rule about having a three course meal for lunch, because they had my three favourite desserts, see picture below.

I had sticky toffee pudding, which was wonderful and wasn't too sickly. I could have had more but had eaten far too much already. My partner had chocolate brownie with clotted cream which was moist with a firm texture and the cream stopped it from being too sweet.

It was a shame that the the main courses were so disappointing because the starters and dessert were excellent. We have decided that would wait a few months and try the place again, to see if things improve. The disappointments maybe because they had just reopened. What did help was the £20.50 discount we got because of the Tastecard.

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