Bull & Last NW5
REVIEWS, March 30, 2009
Overall Value
out of 5
  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambience
Bull & Last, 168 Highgate Rd, London, NW5 1QS

A pleasant but ordinary-looking Dartmouth Park boozer where the cracking British cooking has quickly made quite a ‘name’.

Thanks not least to having an appreciative Times reviewer (Giles Coren) living almost literally on its doorstep, this plain but attractive boozer has quickly established itself as quite a north London destination. The crowds, however – the place was busy even on a Monday lunchtime – seem to have induced no sense of complacency.

Everything we tried – fried duck egg, fish ‘n’ chips, lamb hotpot, a dish which rejoiced in the name ‘trout & eggs’, and clafoutis for pud – was consistently exceptional. It’s not often you find yourself just saying ‘wow’ a lot, but this was one of those meals,

It benefits the whole experience that the style is relentlessly unpretentious. One is almost tempted to say ‘real’ – this does seem to be that ordinary corner boozer you’ve always dreamed about, where the food is fabulous, and a bit innovative too (in a retro sort of way).

Any criticisms? Well, though prices are generally reasonable, the odd dish is surprisingly expensive. The whole point of hotpot is that you use the cheapest cuts, and the rather small dish offered here weighs in at £14.50. Even given the quality of the cooking, a mark-up which must be heading for ten times seems excessive.

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