London Food Journal: The Anchor Bankside | Blog to Taste

Friday, January 1, 2016

London Food Journal: The Anchor Bankside

London is a hugely populous city, its population of 8.5 million people is more than the entire state of Oregon, which is 4 million. However in land mass, Oregon is much larger than the city of London, it is closer in size to the entire size of The United Kingdom, which includes England, Scotland and Ireland. So it's dense, right? In the city, even on a weeknight, restaurants were fairly busy.

VIA://Marche Cortese
We went to the Anchor Bankside because it was recommended personally to a friend that we met up with in London. We checked it out on the River Thames cruise we took, and it looked so charming, located near Shakespeare's Globe Theater, right on the bank of the river. 

We enjoyed the walk from the Tower of London on the Lower Thames path as it got dark outside, and took the Southwark Bridge over the Thames (the walk was about a mile). We were happy to be inside, it was warm and we were hungry. 

VIA://The Anchor Bankside

The Anchor is pretty much a place you would see in a movie.  It was dark and charming, historical and inviting. There were a lot of stairs and different levels, with several different dining rooms to choose between. Not that we had a choice, the place was packed, we kept ascending the stairs and searching though the rooms for an open table. Just as we made our way back outside to the cold dark night, on the top patio bar we saw a mother getting her baby buggy (stroller) ready, and we happily claimed their table upon their exit. 

The four of us picked from the menu, and just like at the Crosse Keys, we noted our table number and them ordered and paid at the bar. Two of us ordered steak and ale pies, and two of us ordered the famous fish and chips. 

The pies were beautiful, the mashed potatoes were plated beautifully, and it was served with a tiny pitcher of brown gravy. I was ridden with food envy, as I was on the fish side because all the pies had milk in them. 

I unfortunately had chosen the fish. The fried fish looked good enough, but was not very good at all. I ate my chips and pushed around the peas on my plate. I gave up on the giant fish fillet less than one third into it. I tried everything, lemon, malt vinegar, tartar sauce, extra salt and pepper, I have never encountered cod that tasted to bad. It was irreparable. It wasn't just me, our friend that ordered the same as me was just as disappointed. The saving grace was that the chips (not french fries) were quite good when dipped into the pitcher of brown gravy that came with the pie. I love brown gravy. 

So, let's wrap this review up with I liked the place (totally charming), the service was decent (no table service), they were accommodating to my milk free weirdness (the allergy menu was very thorough, except type was so small it was almost unreadable), everything was very expensive (The fish and chips was £12.69, so $19.32 US currency, and the pie £11.49/$17.51). 

If you eat here, just don't listen to the 100 signs that say "fish and chips", get the pie. As a local told me later at the pub "only eat fish and chips when you are at the coast". Dang it, just like in Oregon.    I knew better. 

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