It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a restaurant that I’ve been invited to but after seeing The Ship Tavern pop up on a few of my favourite blogs I was excited when an invitation popped into my inbox a couple of weeks ago and swiftly made arrangements for myself and my friend Jen to visit last week. Unfortunately, Jen was put out of action by a horrendous migraine and I was unable to find someone to take her spot at the last minute. Never one to be beaten when it comes to food I headed along to the Holborn establishment for a date night for one!
Approaching The Ship Tavern down the narrow lane directly next to Holborn station that I’d never even noticed before I was surprised to see the outside was incredibly busy with people having post-work drinks with their colleagues. Luckily the restaurant is upstairs and has its own entrance so I didn’t have to battle my way through.
The ‘Oak Room’ is quite a cosy little place, illuminated beautifully by candlelight (although this does make it rather dark so apologies for the photo quality – I left my camera still plugged in at the wall charging that day, so these were taken with my phone) and it was really busy when I arrived which made me feel a little guilty about taking up a whole booth to myself. It was great news for me though as it meant I could indulge in a spot of people watching which is always fun!
It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to eat given that I didn’t have someone else with me who’s food I could steal a taste of and the menu is incredibly comprehensive. In the end I went for what I hoped would be a light starter option of seared scallops, garden pea puree, crispy pancetta and blackberry. I was not disappointed.
The scallops were cooked to perfection which in itself is a tricky feat but complimented with the pancetta and surprisingly the blackberries made for a taste sensation. I scraped that plate clean!
I can’t say the same about my main course but that was not in any way a fault on the dishes part but my inability to eat the huge pie that was laid in front of me! You see every day the restaurant offers at least one different type of pie topped with a puff pastry crown and served with a generous portion of mashed potatoes and seasonal veg.
I had the chicken and leek version which must have had at least half a chicken inside it! The mash was incredibly creamy and moreish and several times I attempted just one more bite only to be defeated after only eating about half of what was on my plate. I’d love to see if even my dad would manage to eat a whole one! They also do a larger pie for two people to share and I honestly can’t comprehend how big that must be.
Unfortunately, this was the most disappointing part of the meal for me. I didn’t feel that the raspberry coulis went particularly well with the passionfruit but I’m not sure if this was more because I was extremely full by this point or not.
The staff were all super lovely checking that I was OK and telling me a bit more about the restaurant and dishes. I wasn’t rushed out the door as soon as I was done either which was nice as it’s such a lovely atmosphere just to sit and relax in. It’s definitely somewhere I’ll consider visiting again when I’m in the area, especially if it means I can avoid the atrocity that is the Central line at rush hour!
The Ship Tavern
12 Gate St