Monday, 28 November 2011

Restaurant Review: The Three Stags

The Three Stags is one of one of my favourite local pubs in good ol' Kennington. I have a few. This is my review for South London Press.

Kennington isn’t an area short of pubs, and certainly not pubs of the modern, gastro variety. The Tommyfield and The Old Red Lion are a couple of them which have been reviewed and very positively rated in this paper over the last year. The sense of community at The Three Stags blows the competition out of the water, though. It’s tangible from the moment of stepping inside; this is no dining room with a bit of space for people to drink, rather this is a proper pub that just happens to serve food.

With that in mind, the sheer quality of food on offer is a brilliant surprise. A ham hock terrine served with homemade piccalilli and toasted spelt bread makes a satisfyingly butch and hearty starter, whilst a main of roast pork belly - which comes from the same Chiltern farm as the meat for the terrine - boasts unctuously soft meat nestled teasingly beneath an almighty roof of audibly crispy crackling. Hat’s off to the chef, because it can’t be far from being perfectly executed.

Look further into the menu, and it becomes apparent just how much of a hidden foodie gem this locals’ pub really is. There’s a radish salad on offer, and just about everything that goes into it has been grown on the pub’s roof. The chef’s also taken a liking to using honey as a feature in many dishes, but who can blame him when it comes from a hive on that same roof? It’s certainly a pleasing addition to an all-British cheeseboard that includes five different, delightfully unheard of cheeses from small producers around the country.

The Three Stags is a certified member of The Sustainable Restaurant Association, and it’s clear they take this accolade seriously. A ‘Sustainable Fish Stew’ is a stalwart of their seasonally changing menu, with pollock well and truly having replaced cod in all their dishes.

Way back when, this pub was famed for being a regular haunt of Charlie Chaplin’s, and the place that the entertainer last saw his father, but nowadays the food is doing a good job of providing all the fun.

The Three Stags, 67-69 Kennington Road, SE1 7PZ

>> originally published in South London Press

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