The Cornwall Project
The Newman Arms have always been a very popular pub for the afterwork crowned in Fitzrovia, since last year, the upstairs space has been taken over by a pop up called The Cornwall Project, Matt Chatfield has selected a small group of suppliers to showcase cooking using some of the best ingredients form Cornwall. The menu is very short, with only 4 mains and 1 dessert. This is slowly becoming a trend in the London dining culture, with chefs preferring to work on a smaller menu to ensure greater quality and reducing waste, which is something I totally support.
|Cotswold egg, smoked mash, wild leeks|
My starter of beef tartar was very pleasant, great seasoning with the smoked bone marrow butter blended in nicely with the toast and salad. The crispy pork belly had a rather odd presentation, the meat looked lifeless, but it tasted totally the opposite, it was really tender and blessed with savoury flavours, both the grilled leek and pearl barley added another layers of textures but far too much salt was used. My main roast main of lamp rump however, was very questionable, the meat itself was cooked perfectly, served pink with such a moist texture. But the seasoning was over the top, together with the already very intense anchovy sauce, it just totally turning it into a salt bath.
|hake, flower sprouts, mussel sauce|
|pork belly, leek, barley|
|roast lamb rump, winter greens, anchovy sauce|
In the end, the food at Newman Arms is an interesting one for me, is it better than your everyday pubs? Totally, but is it anywhere near the level of a top gastropub? Places like the Smokehouse and Anchor & Hope are a mile ahead right now. I failed to understand why most of the press and bloggers are rating it so highly, is it because of the unique concept? For me, just that alone isn't enough if the cooking failed to deliver. I hope it was a one off hiccup as in terms of the ingredients, it was of a really high standard, just the execution was not quite right on the night.
What I paid:
£27 per head
Average cost without drinks and services:
23 Rathbone St, London W1T 1NG