There are gastropubs and then there are gastropubs in Regents Park. There is a certain sense of serenity when you stroll from St Johns Wood station to Drunch. The streets are spotlessly clean, the locals are so incredibly civil. When you enter Drunch, the service is incredibly smooth from the manager down to the servers. The booking is found straight away, you get offered a choice of tables and food and drinks arrive with minimal fuss.
With property prices sky-high in St Johns Wood, it was somewhat surprising to find such a spacious outdoor terrace, but then again they do know their clientele who loves to enjoy their premium shishas all year round on their heated terrace. Inside, the layout feels likes a pub, but with luxurious couches and extravagant mirrors and post-modern artwork.
Moving onto the menu, their list of starters must be the shortest I’ve seen anywhere with only 3 options and 2 of them was over £10. However, by not overcomplicating things they do ensure their dishes are extremely well executed. The burrata was suitably creamy and fresh tasting and chilled to just the right temperature and the sweetness of the heirloom tomatoes along with the flavours of the basil, garlic, pecorino, parmesan cheese and pine nut from the pesto made for a well-balanced dish.
Prawn cocktail included a king prawn along with smaller ones housed inside a half avocado and served with a classic Marie rose sauce. It also came with tomato salsa and melba toast. Both options are not difficult to create but they just needed to ensure they source premium, top quality ingredients, which they have done.
My guest and I don’t generally order enough chicken during our restaurant visits due to the lack of decent options. However, their version here of Cumbrian chicken is well worth considering. It is served with appetising sweet potato purée, which really helps to add some stronger flavours to the typically neutral tasting chicken meat. Sides of girolle provided, even more, richer flavours and crunchy croquettes added some textural variety.
I order a hearty looking lamb shank for my main course. This is the must order dish for carnivores with a healthy appetite; the meat falls off the bone readily but still offering some chew without being overcooked. The creamy bed of mash potatoes held the dish together well along with a decent amount of lamb jus to ensure the dish never felt dry.
If you still have room, they do have classics like sticky toffee pudding; but be warned, it is also very well-portioned so this might be a case of sharing a dessert with your guest to finish off your meal.
Drunch might not have the most inventive menu around, but they know their target audience well and executes these classics with expert precision.