The Pickled Hen Gastropub:
Sitting in the Marriott Hotel behind Marble Arch The Pickled Hen is a largish Gastropub with an attractive white tile and wood interior and an intriguing all-day food offer.
The menu has a modern European slant and ranges from a complete meal to sharing plates ideal for a visit with friends, family or colleagues. These include enticing sounding plates of Woodall’s British charcuterie, crispy halloumi, a pickled fish board and the exciting-sounding Crispy Chicken Scratchings. When I first heard the pub’s name I had an image of slightly drunken chickens weaving their way down Oxford St, but actually chicken is a feature of the menu alongside ‘Rubies in the Rubble’ relishes – a selection of pickles including Spicy Tomato, London Piccalilli and an amazing Banana Ketchup all made with misshapen veg that couldn’t be supplied to the supermarkets.
Enjoying the tea towel napkins we tried a couple of cocktails whilst checking out the menu. The Southbank was made with Beefeater London dry gin, aromatic bitters, lemon sugar, lemon verbena and soda and had a fresh lemony, summery appeal. For the non-drinkers Homemade Ginger Beer was a sweet lime and ginger collation with the sugar taking the edge off the ginger.
After cocktails, we moved on to the crisp apple and citrus flavours of a bottle of Mâcon-Villages, Domaine de la Grange Magnien, Louis Jadot. 2016. It was a great match with our starters. Three perfectly seared queen scallops came elegantly served on a creamy bed of Dorset crab, leeks, sorrel and creme fraiche. But my favourite was the deliciously rich and juicy Buttered Shrimps sitting pertly on a toasted crumpet, traditionally flavoured with mace and dill.
Mains were substantial affairs. The Pickled Hen Whole Roast Chicken was fit for a king. The flavoursome meat was moist with a crispy skin. It came with a robust chicken gravy and crisp chips with a floury interior. On the side were the Rubies in the Rubble relishes and it was great fun experimenting with the different flavours. Seared sea bass was served with tangy cider mussels, barley, fennel creating a tasty dish of hearty nourishing fare perfect for a rainy autumn evening.
There was some good news when it came to desserts…The Pickled Cheesecake wasn’t actually pickled!… but it was a biscuit based raspberry, vanilla, sour cream and cheese construction with a creamy vanilla interior and sweet raspberry coulis on top. Sticky Toffee pudding was surprisingly light and delicious coming with a moreish butterscotch sauce and thick clotted cream.
With mains around £14, The Pickled Hen is a great central London option that isn’t going to break the bank and is perfect for an evening out with friends, workmates or family. There is plenty of choice to keep everyone happy, friendly and efficient service and a food and drink offer with something for everyone.
The Pickled Hen,
London Marriott Hotel Marble Arch,
134 George Street, London W1H 5DN
0207 725 5943