"British food overlooking Victoria Park"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
Situated opposite the entrance to Victoria Park, this pub attracts a mixture of young Hackney-ites and trendy couples, while retaining the relaxed feel of a local, with the odd beer-sipping after- work punter.
The Crown has gone for the homely-yet-quirky look with comfy armchairs, book shelves, lamp shades and some very convincing mock rabbit-skin wallpaper.
While the lunchtime menu is pub-like, with fish and chips, gammon steak, and beef burgers, the dinner menu is a tad more ambitious. We tease our appetites with some very delicious chicken liver wrapped in bacon, and an oaky Rioja Azabache Crianza from 2006 (£19.95), which goes down rather too well.
A dish of oyster mushrooms on toast, with a fried duck egg (£6.50) on top arrives. Dripping in olive oil, the creamy yolk and nutty-tasting mushrooms are delightful.
The British asparagus salad with Berkswell cheese (£6.95) consists of a bed of leaves with fried asparagus, sprinkled with a sheep’s cheese that is made by a family in the tiny village of Berkswell. Its robust flavour and hard texture has more in common with a Grana Padano than a typical English cheese.
We plod along to the mains, with a cheese onion and celeriac pie (£9.95) that has heaps of melted Cheddar in puff pastry with sweet onion and celeriac.
The pan fried gilt head bream with mussels, prawns and wilted spinach (£12.95) may sound like too much on one plate, but it’s not. The mussels and prawns in a butter white wine sauce are perfect with the delicate flavour of this fish, which is considered a luxury food in some countries. Boiled new potatoes provide the additional stodge.
“We have a culinary disaster” we are told after ordering desserts, as the kitchen has run out of custard. However the bread and butter pudding (£5) which oozes chocolate sauce is actually more apt with just a dollop of vanilla ice cream after a heavy meal. A crunchy pear crumble (£5) arrives wrapped in a thin layer of filo pastry, a quirky touch to a wholesome pud, just like the pub itself.
Leila reviewed The Crown on Wed 02 Jun 2010