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Food review: The Alma, Newington Green

PUBLISHED: 14:05 18 December 2015 | UPDATED: 14:17 18 December 2015

The Alman was voted as Islington's best pub for 2015

The Alman was voted as Islington's best pub for 2015

Archant

The perfect place for a drinking session and Sunday roast, says James Morris

Interior of The Alma, including Lagunitas on tap Interior of The Alma, including Lagunitas on tap

After attending an anaemic football match (in my case Tottenham 1-2 Newcastle) in the wintery cold, the antidote is always the same. Get to a warm pub.

This particular visit, to The Alma in Newington Green, comes with a little more anticipation than usual: it was voted Time Out’s Islington pub of the year for 2015.

And walking through the doors, I’m immediately appeased by two things.

First, it has Lagunitas IPA on tap.

Starter: nachos, top, and honey mustard sausages, bottom. Picture: Ant Carney Starter: nachos, top, and honey mustard sausages, bottom. Picture: Ant Carney

Second, it’s one of those rare places where the temperature is on point. It’s toasty enough to sit in comfort in a t-shirt in December. But not so warm as to be flushed drinking the “Lags” and eating a three-course meal, the real reason I’m here.

I start with nachos (£8) from the pub’s standard menu, fussily requesting no sour cream or cheese. They’re immediately the tastiest nachos I’ve eaten. No Doritos, or Doritos knock offs, are served here. These are freshly baked tortillas, with the hot jalapeños balanced by cool salsa and guacamole.

My friend goes for mini pork sausages, marinated in a honey mustard glaze (5.50). They’re sweet but not sickly: fortunate as you’re given a generous portion.

Onto the mains, we go for the Sunday roasts. Taking a look at other tables around the movie themed pub – it is covered top to bottom with posters and merchandise from classic flicks – they are clearly popular. Pretty much every diner is eating one.

Roast main: beef, top, and lamb, bottom. Picture: Ant Carney Roast main: beef, top, and lamb, bottom. Picture: Ant Carney

The beef (£15.50) is perfectly cooked between rare and medium, as is the lamb (£14.50).

Just as impressive are the trimmings. As two northerners, we are instinctively sceptical about the ability of southern softies to make good gravy.

But The Alma more than succeeds, with extra credit for the fresh greens, crisp roast potatoes and, most importantly, big Yorkshire pudding.

Having eaten so much, there’s no need for dessert at this point. Apart from we’re greedy. The sticky toffee pudding (£6) and banoffee pie (£6), complete an extremely strong three courses.

It’s not exactly cheap, but when the food is this good, and “Lags” is on tap, The Alma is an asset to Newington Green.

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