Foodies on my Doorstep

Reviewer waxes lyrical about new St G&D regime

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183 High St, Acton W3

Tel: 020 8992 3712

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Friday nights for us are very often a time to chill out with some take-away food and enjoy the fact that the newsletter has gone out, the phone isn't ringing and it's time for the week to stop.

Last Friday after a particularly news-filled Acton week we decided to eschew even washing up a few plastic containers and walk down to the St George and Dragon. We'd heard a few whispers on the Forum that it was under new management and worth a visit.

The back room - still resplendant with its two naked art nouveau ladies - is a very pleasant place to spend an evening. There were a few others dotted around and we settled down to look at the menu. I decided to drink half a pint of Fuller's Honeydew which is a delicious, comforting (organic!) slightly sweet ale which I recommend. My partner chose a pint of Litovel (Czech) lager and my son opted for his law-abiding fizzy water.

There are five starters and 8 mains on the menu. I like a short menu. There's something very discouraging and out-of-the-freezer-into-the-microwave about pages and pages of different dishes. I chose crayfish tail with kohlrabi remoulade, watercress and mango, not really knowing quite what to expect. When it arrived was appetisingly colourful - the crayfish striped very deep salmon-pink and the watercress a grassy green. This was a delicious, delicately flavoured and really successful dish. Not too big, not too small, each individual element working well against its plate-mates..... You get the picture.

My other half allowed me a mouthful of his sweet corn and buttermilk pancake with asparagus, broad beans, peas, basil and pine nuts. This, too was pretty enough to photograph in a Sunday supplement. The broad beans deserve a special mention as the outer skin had been peeled away to reveal a jewel-like green inner pod. Suffice it to say that this, too was - according to he who consumed it - "ridiculously delicious".

My son had salad of golden beetroot, feta, roasted red onions, tomato and watercress and was also pretty ecstatic about it.

He and I had chosen home made open lamb and chorizo burger with spicy mint and plantain salsa tempura onion. This sounds a bit fancypants and I'm not a huge fan of chorizo but I just felt in a burger frame of mind so thought I'd brave it. However - I needn't have worried: it was sensational. We asked for French fries (instead of 'big chips' so I can't vouch for them) which were top notch. My son is particularly fussy and not given to eulogies but he was already badgering us for a return trip.

My other half chose duck leg confit with Asian salad, tamarind and passion fruit dressing - which he ordered with a side of French Fries which arrived in a charming zinc flower pot. His mother lives right in the middle of confit-country France and he said he hadn't tasted confit this good in a long time.

We were pleasantly replete, but puds would have probably rendered us incoherent, so next time.. Our bill (two courses for three of us plus drinks) came to £55.70 excluding service.

We talked to the Brazilian brothers, Julio (manager) and Nilton (chef) afterwards and discovered that they have impressive cvs featuring First Floor and the Sugar Club (renowned Notting Hill eateries) as well as the Stonemason's Arms, Anonimato, Sam's Brasserie and Carvosso's. They have been in situ at the St George and Dragon for about 5 weeks and wax lyrical (yes, really) about the foodie mecca that is Acton High Street.

So here is a new arrival in Acton who deserves a welcome (unlike some I could mention this week), plenty of visitors and a huge success. I would travel a long way to eat like this, but I'm delighted to say I don't have to.


Clare Gittins

July 4, 2008