The new Nova building in Victoria has been held up for criticism by some. But I’d like to defend the new restaurant complex, it’s not intended as a mecca for fine dining, but it’s given a great amount of choice for local residents and people working in the area. It has even put Victoria on the map for destination dining, an area of London that used to be dead at the weekends, it’s now busy and buzzy.
The Stoke House is one such example, a place that has been knocked by critics but actually a perfectly fine place for lunch or dinner if you’re living in the area and you want something easy and casual. Mr S and I have popped there for dinner on Sunday before and this time I was invited back to review the restaurant that is also latest venue by restauranteur, Will Ricker. It was a crowded Sunday a couple of weeks before Christmas, full of large groups and families getting their Sunday roasts.
Festive drinks ordered (prosecco for me, hot toddy for Mr S) we took a look at the menu. Now I have to say, the first time we walked into Stoke House, we walked straight out again – originally the concept was to go up to the a buffet counter with a tray but after a few negative reviews the concept swiftly changed to table service. Based on the idea of a modern British carvery there’s a menu of smoked meats and a seasonal vegetables and salads.
My smokehouse salmon and dill crème fraiche and seeded crackers was fine, if a little meagre on the portion size and generous on the salt.
Mr S’s prawn cocktail unfortunately tasted more like they were from Iceland the supermarket than Iceland the country and didn’t quite have the full of fresh flavour that you look for in seafood. We did both enjoy the sourdough bread with whipped butter however.
Along with the regular menu of smoke house meats, on Sundays you can also opt for the Sunday roast cooked in the wood fire oven with the choice of chicken, beef, salmon, pork or marrow and all the trimmings. My S opted for rump of Dexter beef from Phillip Warrens master butcher in Cornwall served with Yorkshire pudding, smoked cauliflower cheese, garlic and thyme roasted new potatoes, honey glazed carrots, greens. The beef is cooked well and the side dishes are tasty – it’s not the best ever Sunday roast but it’s reasonably priced and a decent portion size.
I enjoyed my salmon which was cooked and seasoned well and served with a fennel and cress salad.
My favourite bit of the meal was actually the side dishes, a really tasty chickpea and roasted vegetable salad from the choice of daily salads along with brussell sprouts and bacon.
Dessert is banana split flavoured ice cream, cornflake ice cream, and dark chocolate ice cream with chocolate brownie crumbles and chocolate sauce. The ice cream is not home made and tastes artificial and with the sprinkles on top, it is more from the kids menu but again a perfectly fine dessert if it’s what you fancy. The espresso martini was better way to round off the meal.
I think you get the picture as to how I feel about The Stoke House, it’s not going to be getting a Michelin star any time soon but food is decent, well priced and filling. Plus the Victoria location makes it convenient for tourists and locals.
81 Buckingham Palace Road
020 734 7744
I was invited to review.