"The Castle is certain to be a packed location this summer"Review Rating: Reviewed by All In London
One of Tooting’s oldest pubs, The Castle has been a Young’s house since 1832, but thanks to a recent refurbishment it’s still one of the area's favourites. The front half of the space feels properly cosy but modern, with leather wing back chairs, tartan cushions and board games offering what will certainly be a welcoming atmosphere come the winter months.
The dining room, situated towards the back of the venue, feels like stepping into an orangery. Light and airy with wooden tables and chairs and accents of colourful seat cushions, it feels exceptionally homely without being too fussy.
Tooting might not be first on your list as a London foodie destination, but if you’re ever in the area – or south of the river at all to be honest – I’d urge you to pay a visit; the menu is exceptional, the service impeccable, and the whole ambience of the venue totally transports you out of Tooting to the English countryside.
My meal began with a completely mouthwatering portion of juicy south coast crab with avocado and pink grapefruit, Melba toast and lemon oil. My companion’s pan-seared scallops came with chunks of black pudding, pea and beetroot purees and a tomato concasse. An explosion of taste and flavour. Definitely one to try again at home.
The main of whole rosemary and lemon infused sea bream came baked in a parchment parcel with crunchy spring vegetables, white wine and herbs, deliciously flaky fish perfectly complemented by some very tasty fennel, beetroot and carrots. Obviously had to try a cheeky side of fries with it which didn’t disappoint. The rotisserie Dingley Dell pork came with full on crackling, cider fondant potato, purple broccoli, ‘toffee love apples’ – like a caramelised sugar-dipped physalis I think – and wholegrain sauce. There was a comment that the potatoes were slightly overcooked, but the rest was so good we let it slide.
On to dessert, and while the sticky toffee pudding was itself pretty darn tasty, the accompanying toffee banana ice cream was absolutely dreamy. My salted caramel and vanilla cheesecake, complete with spun sugar trimming, was out of this world. Next time I might just forgo the mains and head straight for pudding…
With a cosy new garden of wooden chalet style seating areas, The Castle is certain to be a packed location this summer. Book early – it’s definitely worth the trek. I look forward to returning once the weather turns for a cosy night of pub quizzing.
All In London reviewed The Castle on Thu 03 Jul 2014