- Location: King Eddies, 47 Broadway, Stratford, London, E15 4BQ (nearest tube station is Stratford)
- Date of Visit: Thursday 21st March 2013
- Time of Table: 7.30pm
- Deal Bought From: Groupon
- Deal Price: £27 for Two
- Dinner Companion: My fiancé Dan
Getting More for your Money?
This dinner deal includes:
- Two Starters
- Two Main Courses
- Two Desserts
- For Two people
What we ate…
- Starter: Rabbit and Chorizo Salad served with Poached Duck Egg
- Main: Beef Burger with Pulled Pork, Bacon, Homemade Coleslaw, Cheddar and Fat Chips
- Dessert: Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla Ice Cream
- Starter: Sticky BBQ Ribs with Sweet Chilli Sauce
- Main: Beef Burger with Pulled Pork, Bacon, Homemade Coleslaw, Cheddar and Fat Chips
- Dessert: Sticky Toffee Pudding with Clotted Cream
What we drank…
- Two glasses of House Rose (not included)
- Two glasses of Coke (not included)
What did we think?
King Eddie’s pub in Stratford seems to sit like a fidgeting younger sibling at a wedding in between two tall bow-tie wearing brothers – it’s all rustic, countryside charm, complete with 19th century grade two listed building, plonked between the regality of white, imposing structures, whilst basking merrily in the glow of sleek shopper’s paradise Westfields. At first glance, we even wondered whether we were at the right place as this slightly worn around the edges wannabe gastro-pub seemed lost and out of place amidst the stylistic big city. Painted a rural green with an abundance of dark, almost black, wood and a swinging name board, you did feel as if you were taking a step back in time – especially as my six foot two fiancé ducked in combat with the dangerously low ceilings.
Although the décor may not be flashy or overstated, it was welcoming and comfortable, sticking very much to the design of the buildings origins. As we entered, the front bar area was packed and with no tables spare, and we were instantly worried. This was obviously a very popular local, and we couldn’t really see how it was trying to pass itself off as a dinner destination. However our fears were soon alleviated as they lead us into a separate saloon bar at the rear of the pub, which when we arrived at around 7.30pm, was completely empty. With a choice of tables, we opted for a large rectangular one opposite the bar. The interior felt like a rabbit’s warren with corridors, doors and stairs seeming to lead off in every direction – I didn’t dare try and find the toilets. I love the quirky menu presentation of a single sheet of paper rolled up and stuffed in a pint glass. It seemed to signal the feel that the place was going for – wanting to keep its traditional pub roots but give it a damn good polish up first.
As is expected of pub grub, it was a predictable and simplistic menu with the usual array of burgers, sausages and battered fish. However I was anticipating some great quality dishes as I knew that this venue is particularly keen on how they source their food, using locally produced ingredients and only serving meat from suppliers who use extensive farming methods. Checking out the starters, I surprised to spot something a bit different that instantly caught my eye – a rabbit, chorizo and poached duck egg salad. Normally I avoid greenery when eating out, but this intriguing mix of flavours seemed too good to pass up. The presentation was beautiful, with the pert poached egg gleaming on top of a delicately scattered selection of fresh leaves and onions. I had never tried rabbit before and I must say, I enjoyed the earthy and succulent taste – although yes, it does taste like chicken! The rabbit paired with the slightly spicy and greasy chorizo provided a great contrast in texture as well as hitting a different flavour palette with its robust and chunky punch. This was further emphasised by the clean salad and egg served with it. It was really gorgeous and an absolute pleasure to eat. This starter made me so excited for the rest of my meal, as it literally screamed quality cooking, imagination and creativity with presentation. Very impressive.
Moving on from combinations and flavours that were new to me, to something a lot more classic – the great pub burger. And I must confess, this one was something special. Once again, the importance of the presentation seemed paramount to the chef, as it was another gorgeous visual display, with the traditionally towered meat feast, with a side dish of decadently thick and oily chips in a silver bowl dressed with a white napkin inside. There was also a small dish of mayonnaise for dunking purposes. Again, the simple burger had received an upgrade, and this was the first time that I had seen BBQ pulled pork featuring in a burger, and this really added an extra element of flavour that was heaven with the bacon, as well as a different texture. The coleslaw in the burger was also a nice added touch, the crunchy red cabbage providing a saucy salad for the slightly crumbly burger meat. The burger itself was an impressive size and rather a challenge to grasp hold of! The burger bun was a typical seeded one that basically fell apart as soon as it was picked up, so I definitely wouldn’t recommend this dish for people who don’t like getting their hands dirty! The burger was pure and simple beef with no fuss or added elegance, but it ticked the quality check box nicely with its deep flavour.
The chips were deliciously thick, which is what I prefer, and although they were hand fried, they were very uniformly cut to be exact in size. They were full of flavour although a tad soggy and greasy. On first appearance, I wasn’t sure whether the dish would be big enough, but after eating it, I was completely full, and I settled onto the red upholstered bench seat comfortably, the refreshing and vibrantly coloured house rose making a zingy liquid accompaniment.
With such high standards for the first two courses, I was rubbing my hands together for dessert, and I had chosen one of my favourites – the chocolate fondant. When it arrived an incredibly long time after we ordered, I must say that I was rather disappointed. It seemed worlds away from the other food we had been presented with and I couldn’t get over the difference. I was given two small fondants served with a single scoop of vanilla ice cream, and the barest drizzle of chocolate sauce. The fondants were too small in my opinion. Part of the joy of fondants is their tantalizingly oozy centres, however, where these ones were so small, there really wasn’t a lot of ooze factor and the liquid centre could disappear easily in a single spoonful. The cakes had a very intense and rich chocolate flavour, but they were also very sticky and actually reminded more of a brownie in texture and taste than a fondant. The ice cream was also just average. I was baffled by what I was given for my afters, as it contrasts so heavily with the level of care and attention to detail and taste that had been delivered in our previous two courses. A bizarre finish to our meal that seemed more shop bought than homemade, which is a definite clash with the ethos of the pub.
We visited King Eddie’s on a Thursday, which we soon discovered was open mic night, as local musicians could come and perform randomly for diners and drinkers alike. I was expecting some talented tunes but the first musician to the mic was truly terrible with a droning voice and a one pace tone. This sort of ruined the chilled out and relaxed atmosphere we had been enjoying so far, for as the music started up, our previously secluded saloon bar began to rapidly fill, destroying any remains of the casually quiet ambience.
Making a second reservation? No, I wouldn’t. Although I can’t praise my first two courses highly enough, I’m not sure whether they provide me with enough of a reason to come to King Eddie’s again. On the whole, the pricing was fair and not extortionate, which was nice. Our voucher was also a fantastic bargain, and if I were to get another one, I would be really tempted. It was really inclusive with the three courses and there was plenty of choice for each round, as we could choose from the whole menu. There was something for everyone as well so if a group of you went, you wouldn’t have any problems in that respect. We paid an additional £14 for our drinks, which is still quite reasonable and £27 for three courses each is so cheap. Our waitress was absolutely lovely and she did a fantastic job of serving at the bar as well as delivering food to all of the tables eating. She was efficient and friendly and we were more than happy to leave her a generous tip.
The impression that the website gives, and what you actually get, are two very different things with King Eddie’s. The website discusses and emphasises the food, and the unusual British beers really presenting a front of a high quality gastro-pub. However, in reality, it is just a normal pub that is slowly working it’s way to achieving this dream. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed my evening. Once in the quieter part of the pub, it was so relaxed and comfortable, and the first two courses of food were absolutely fabulous. The staff service was also very professional. It just doesn’t quite all gel all together quite right and I’m not sure I can put my finger on exactly why. Still a thoroughly lovely evening and you can’t disagree that it was a quaint and picturesque venue, and the amount of food that we got for the money we paid was simply impressive.
The Dinner Dates Opinion:
“Arriving at King Eddies and seeing old men smoking outside the pub I thought we was at the wrong place, a part of me hoping we were. Once inside it was a similar story. A small bar that felt more like a local down Romford than a pub up London. The staff were very friendly and attentive throughout. For starters I had BBQ sticky spare ribs with a sweet chilli sauce. I was given a massive plate full of ribs; taking my first bite I realised why I had so many ribs on my plate. A lot of the ribs were more bone than meat, the meat I did have was very tasty. For mains I had a burger and fat chips. The chips were amazing, they reminded me of the homemade ones my mum makes. The burger for me was ruined by the coleslaw that had been smothered all over. I generally like coleslaw but was really put off the burger because of it. For dessert I had sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream. I was really disappointed by it as it was very soggy and watery. Overall I was disappointed with the food and do not feel compelled to return.”