WEDNESDAY 26TH JULY – THE PARK TAVERN SW18
Here at Eat Wandsworth HQ, we’re lucky to have a plethora of outstanding eateries right on our doorstep. Surrounded by some wonderful London suburbs, we are never short of places to visit. Today was no different. We were delighted to be invited for lunch at The Park Tavern in Southfields, sitting down with new executive head chef Elliot Hill to learn about his impressive work history & vision for the pub going forward.
Having been welcomed in to this classic English Tavern by the friendly general manager, Kevin Sweeney, we were seated in the restaurant area which has nostalgically retained many traditional features of stained glass windows, a large open fireplace, along with wood panelled walls.
After casting our eyes over the creative menu , we were joined by Elliot before settling in to taste his dishes. He boasts an impressive CV that has taken him from Chester to London, via Manchester and Moscow. Having worked in Michelin and rosette awarded restaurants, he has gained a vast range of cooking knowledge passed down from top chefs such as ‘The Great British Menu’s’ Ian Matfin and the Michelin starred Alan Dann from the Henry Tudor House in Shrewsbury. Elliot has also worked in Russia, at top banqueting functions and glamorous events for the Russian Governmental elite. He took his biggest inspiration from Michelin trained Chef Ross Chatburn at Hotel Gotham in Manchester, where together they were awarded 2 AA Rosettes and “Outstanding New Hotel” at the Independent Hotel Show Awards.
Having made his way down to London, he saw the Park Tavern as project with a multitude of potential. “Wandsworth is becoming an incredibly exciting area to be a part of. So many of the discerning diners of London don’t all live in Kensington or Soho, Hackney or Islington – a lot of them are living here! I want to be a part of the Wandsworth revolution and we’ve started it right here.”
Elliot spoke passionately about both his menu and the use of fresh, seasonal food, using the highest quality ingredients. “Our aim is to give British classics a modern twist, along with creating new, exciting dishes that will resonate with our demographic.”
We commenced our meal with a pre-starter. The whitebait, lightly dusted in flour and deep fried, was crispy, delicious and perfectly complemented with a lime aioli.
For starters, we opted for the potted beef, served with pickled vegetables & pastry, along with salmon tartare with a fennel, cucumber and grapefruit salsa. Both dishes filled with amazing textures, multiple layers of flavour and beautifully presented. Our favourite entrée dish however was the outstanding duck leg croquette, parsnip puree and watercress. The meat was cooked to perfection, expertly accompanied by the golden crispy coating & savory puree. It’s genuinely hard to do this dish justice, so we recommend a visit purely to see what the fuss is about!
We decided upon a couple of British pub classics for our mains and weren’t left disappointed. The house ground beef burger, which is minced on site, was served with cured bacon, American cheese, fries and delicious handmade ketchup. The double patty offering really works when high quality beef is used, as it was here. Our next dish was the beer battered haddock, crushed peas with tartare sauce and (very large) hand cut chips. The batter crispy, fish delicate and chips with a subtle crunch. The final main we ordered was the vegan & gluten free option – sweet potato tagine, quinoa & black garlic. An aesthetically good-looking dish, with the black garlic really complimenting the sweet potato perfectly.
Full to the brim and suitably content, we left just enough room to share one dessert. We decided upon the honey parfait, with lime curd, ginger crumb and pieces of crunchy honeycomb. Light, sweet and citrusy, Elliot has again used fantastic layers of both texture and flavour to create this dessert. Disappointed we had to turn down the other offerings including sticky toffee pudding. chocolate mousse and lemon and sorrel posset, but the belts had already been loosened once.
Elliot is at the beginning of his Park Tavern journey but we’re sure he’s on his way to creating something rather special. His desire to succeed shone through and his culinary skills are a wonderful asset to Wandsworth.
We highly recommend The Park Tavern and can’t wait to head back soon for the Sunday Roast, along with some of the impressive looking evening menu dishes.
Kitchen opening Hours are Monday to Friday 12-3:30pm ; 5:30-10:00pm and Saturday Sunday 12-10pm.
Bookings for dinner and Sunday Lunch are recommended, but walk-ins are always welcome if there’s a table available.
The Park Tavern
212 Merton Road
London SW18 5SW