So I went to one of my first proper meetups from meetup.com and had a pub lunch with a few strangers of my age. Meeting strangers? Whilst the concept sounds weird, it is what all of London is doing and hence why I love London! Addicted to meeting new people, I like to think it broadens my horizons. The amount we can learn from each other just by sharing experiences is amazing. I did go with a friend but if you keep a open mind about it, it is something that can wind up being a lot of fun even if you are by yourself. 🙂
But I am not here to convince you to try a meetup (although I would definitely recommend it), I am here to review the pub we went to! It was called The Union Tavern and is based in the Clerkenwell area. As usual, I will be rating them on 3 metrics – ambience, food and value for money.
We went on a Saturday afternoon and it wasn’t too busy when we arrived. We had a table booked (for around 15 of us) and our table was positioned by the chef’s area. I personally love to see my food being prepared so this was a bonus. The food was pre-ordered from their set menu but they double checked the orders with us. Waitress was friendly and attentive – checking up if we need our drinks topped up now and then. Pretty bright and airy, I liked the ambience.
Before and during our meals, we were given warm French bread and butter and it is a crisp, fresh bread that I would definitely recommend trying. I wouldn’t normally fill up on bread before my meals when eating out but the bread was too good to pass up!
There was a set menu to choose from with around 6 starters and 6 mains. For the starter, I chose the chickpea & coriander falafels with hummus, aubergine shakshuka & tahina dish. The falefels were well seasoned and crispy on the outside. It was accompanied with a tangy aubergine side which tasted similar to salsa and the tahina which is mainly made from seseme seeds also greatly complemented the falafel. Overall, a really good start to the meal.
For the main course, I chose to have the Warm chefs’ salad of smoked chicken with sautéed new potatoes and sundried tomatoes. I wasn’t too impressed with the presentation and even my friend remarked that it looked like ‘last night’s leftovers thrown together’. However, taste-wise it was pretty good with a variety of flavours running through the dish from the sun dried tomatoes to the fried onions. It was served with 3 crispy pastry biscuits which was interesting. Overall, it was good but nothing special.
Value for money: 8/10
Both the starter and main course cost me around £7 with a service charge of 12.5%. The portion size for the main was huge and even as a big eater myself, I could not finish it all (especially after all that French bread)! Considering the ambience, food and portion sizes, I would say that it is definitely great value for money.
Overall, this is a pub to definitely pay a visit to if you are in the area. It is not your typical grungy pub, it is bright and refreshing inside with a good focus on the quality of their meals and service.