If you've been wondering what exactly is going on behind the scenes at the Kentish Town pub the Bull and Gate, we can enlighten you. Hot Dinners caught up with operations manager, Toby Cowan, to find out what to expect when the pub finally reopens in April after being closed for two years.
"The Bull & Gate dates back to 17th Century and following the refurbishment, I believe it will be reinstated as one of North London’s gems...within a historic setting," said Toby.
To that end, there'll be a dining room with space for 70. We've had a look at a draft menu including the following dishes:
- Watercress soup with poached duck egg
- Rare fillet of beef, crispy bone-marrow, raw salad
- Treacle cured salmon, spring pickles, kohlrabi remoulade
- Razor clams, smoked pork belly, wild garlic, cauliflower
- Duck rillettes, smoked duck, spring pickles, pomegranate
- Smoked lamb shoulder & burnt leek shepherd’s pie, purple sprouting broccoli
- Black Angus sirloin, roasted shallots, triple cooked chips, watercress with béarnaise
- Baked onion, Ogleshield, butternut squash, morels, black cabbage
- Seaweed poached hake, razor clams, cauliflower, spring peas
- Slow roasted pork belly, cauliflower, smoked pork cheek croquette, black cabbage
- Monkfish, smoked bacon, fennel, blood orange & lovage salad
- Black Angus porterhouse for 2 to share, roasted shallots, triple cooked chips with béarnaise
- Lemon tart, crème fraiche ice cream
- Rhubarb & blood orange crumble, custard
- Salted chocolate & hazelnut torte
- Cardamom burnt cream, pistachio shortbread
- White chocolate & rosemary brioche bread & butter pudding, custard
- Smoked Lincolnshire poacher, Bath soft, Brighton blue, honeycomb
As you'd expect from any decent new-look London boozer, there'll be a Sunday lunch offering which here features Limousine X Rowels Farm Sirloin and Creedy Carver chicken. There's even a decent sounding roast for vegetarians - roasted root vegetable hash, coconut oil roasted potatoes, Bloody Mary relish.
In the bar there'll be a separate bar food menu with pub staples including a burger with ale onions, pickles and American cheese and we are very tempted by the sound of the Butcher's Board featuring smoked pork cheek & crackling crumb Scotch egg, duck rillettes, sausage roll, crackling, pickles, and sourdough toast.
But that's not all. It seems that there's a lot going on elsewhere in the pub. "We’re transforming upstairs into the Boulogne Bar," explains Toby, "a decadent cocktail bar with authentic artisan cocktails celebrating the history of cocktail making. In addition (and to set the mood) singer songwriters will perform Wednesday to Saturday evenings."
"So we will be offering all the best parts of a local pub in one...a warm, welcoming interior; fantastic drinks range including ales and craft beers; fresh, seasonal food and fantastic, artisan cocktails."
The Bull and Gate will reopen on 10 April 2015 at 389 Kentish Town Road, London NW5 2TJ. Opening hours will be Mon–Wed: 11am-11pm; Thurs-Sat: 11am-Midnight and Sun 11am-10.30pm. Keep up with their news on Twitter @bullandgatenw5