Anchor & Hope Restaurant Review

4 Mar

The Anchor & Hope is a gastropub run by the same people at St John, The Fox, and The Eagle – all known for their offally good food. Great food, great service – and the best chips we’ve ever had – but you might have to wait for a table, especially if you visit at peak hours. Bearing in mind we only arrived at 10pm and still had to wait, on a Tuesday night, that gives you a rough idea of how popular the Anchor & Hope is. Definitely one of South London’s gems.

Anchor & Hope, Waterloo, London

We paid a visit on Tuesday, 27th February, around 10pm, after a few post-work drinks. We hadn’t booked, and in fact I think there is a no-booking policy, however the waiting staff were extremely helpful, even offering to serve us in the bar area. However we wanted to eat in the non-smoking restaurant area, (yes, rejoice those of you who prefer to enjoy your food unsullied by the rude w*nker next to you who decides to light their cancer stick) so decided to wait with our bottle of Rioja.

Sharing tables
We waited about 30 minutes to be shown to our table that we shared with a couple of sapphic lovers. Due to the demand at this gastropub I think sharing tables is fairly common, so if you go, don’t be surprised if you do have to share. However this didn’t impact on our enjoyment of the victuals which were about to arrive at our table.

To start I ordered the brandade with salad, although I had to enquire what brandade actually is. It turned out to be a mixture of pureed potato with salt cod and some herbs – delicious with a rich creamy texture and a not overpowering flavour. Being a potato fan I thought it was delicious, and substantial as a starter. Paul ordered beef consomme accompanied by a slice of artisanal toast with duck pate, which he enjoyed.

To follow we ordered the beef fore ribs for two – accompanied by fresh, hot, crispy chips, and a green salad lightly dressed. The beef was cooked to perfection – medium rare, a fresh rosy colour and had all the fat round the edges to give extra flavour. Tender and juicy, it was heavenly to a couple of hungry carnivores.

The chips
Ah, the chips – the best I have ever had in my life. They were thick cut, double-fried and seasoned to perfection, salty, without being over salted, and it would have been an insult to even wave the ketchup bottle in their direction. Crispy on the outside, steaming hot on the inside with rich fluffy goodness filling our senses. If you go even only for their chips, it will have been a trip worth making.

We polished off our mains in good order, and followed those by a creme caramel which was light and delicate, though a bit small. To be fair that was probably a good call as Paul had ordered a deliciously creamy coffee ice-cream, which we also shared. It tasted like real home-made ice-cream, without a hint of chemicals or that tacky gooiness you tend to see in commercial varieties.

Reassuringly expensive
The three course meal totalled £30 per person, the bottle of wine being extra which was £18.50. Most mains aren’t too expensive, ranging from £13-£17 but we did splurge on the beef for two which was £40.00.

Our waiter was very attentive and obliging, even though some dishes had been sold out, he came back with alternatives and was very helpful – well worth a tip!

Order by the bottle
The only discordant note we saw struck was by a couple in front of us in the bar area who had chosen to have their meal there instead of waiting to be seated in the restaurant area. As they had ordered wine by the glass, it arrived in a little juice tumbler, and they were envious of our wine glasses – we had purchased by the bottle. And why not – let the customer who buys the bottle have a better glass, for they are spending more money. It’s all in the benefits of the upgrade – upgrade to a bottle from a glass, and you’ll get the wine glasses. I understand some may only want a glass, but really, who in their sane mind over a lovely meal will want only one glass? If it’s a dinner outing, splurge a bit. You only live once.

Anchor & Hope
36 The Cut, London, SE1 8LE
Tel: 0871 0757279

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