The Phoenix – Denmark Hill

phoenix_pubhero_01This pub is situated in the Denmark Hill Overground station. What a great idea, whether you miss your connection, waiting for a friend or early  you can go and have a drink in a pub good enough to be a ‘local’. This pub is not a dull empty station pub/bar but part of the whole community. Every night it is busy with quiz nights, DJ’s and Sunday brunches. There are a couple of benches outside and the crowds spill out on onto the tiny road on warm summer days.

We had a late train and were hungry so instead of going home (the extra 10 minutes) we decided to grab food there. As we hadn’t booked there were no seats available in the dining room or in the main pub area itself. The waiter was extremely helpful and put us on a table area and walked around the whole pub and the balcony area to get us a seat – now that is service!

One of us sat uncomfortably on a wooden stool and the other crouched on a poof with the short table knocking our knees. The waiter had been so helpful and cheery that we decided to make the most of it and ordered a bottle of the chenin blanc recommended by the waiter; it was delicious.

Almost as soon as we were served the wine, the lovely waiter had found a table in the dining area for us and he helped us carry our stuff to the table. The dining room and pub itself is separated by a brick arch. There is the black board with the specials as well as the paper menu that changes with the seasons, mood of chef and ingredients available. The specials run out quickly so its best not to dine too late as they are often some of the best dishes.

Often I find a few dishes that stand out and it’s easy to whittle it down, but this time the menu screams out at me and I have to ask my partner to make the decision – what am I turning into? For starter we ordered the salt & pepper squid with lime mayonnaise and the asparagus, avocado and broad bean salad. The squid came out on a wooden platter and was a little overcooked and greasy for my liking. The lime mayonnaise was not sour enough but the salt and pepper flavour was there. The broad bean salad was much healthier, greener and refreshing. The broad beans were al dente so has a nice crunch and the asparagus was not too overcooked. The avocado made the dish a little richer and was under ripe – just how I like it. This was served with little green seeds and buds – lovely.

For main course we ordered the 8oz 21 day aged rib-eye steak with fries, baked tomato & watercress and the Gloucester Old Spot sausages, beer mustard mash, onion rings & gravy. We ordered the steak rare and it was just about rare although verging on medium and was thick and delicious. The baked tomato and watercress cut through the rich meat and greasy chips. The sausage was thick and very meaty  – one thing I hate is cheap sausages with lots of flour, bread, gunk etc.. Yuk! No the sausages worked and the onion rings were thick and greasy. I am not a big onion ring kind of girl but am told that these were up to scratch. The only disappointment was the mustard beer mash, I thought this would have air bubbles, yeasty flavour and a burning mustard after taste but unfortunately they used Dijon mustard so had a crunch but no sharp aftertaste.

The service was impeccable, after going all out to seat us and food recommendations, the team ensured we were happy, we had everything we wanted, when we wanted. Who can ask more? Hearty food, fantastic service and not a bad location either. Sex Drugs and Bacon Rolls gives this place:

            Food                       Atmosphere                     Service

3 Stars4 Stars3 Stars

denmark hill
Phoenix on Urbanspoon

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