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Food review: Lady Mildmay, Newington Green

16:32 16 September 2016

Lady Mildmay in Newington Green. Picture: Steve Hall

Lady Mildmay in Newington Green. Picture: Steve Hall

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Newington Green is home to The Alma, one of my all time favourite pubs. But tonight I am visiting the Lady Mildmay, just around the corner. Bearing in mind the location, it has a lot to live up to.

Starters at the Lady Mildmay. Picture: Carline ChengStarters at the Lady Mildmay. Picture: Carline Cheng

It is warm, dimly lit and Saturday night chatter bounces off the echoey ceiling. In other words it’s a perfect drinking pub.

With a Hammerton N7 pale ale (brewed in Islington) for myself and fine Spanish white wine for my friend, we scour the menu written in chalk on the wall.

Refurbing and reopening earlier this year, landlord Steve Hall is clearly striving for more. In terms of pub fare, it’s the bravest I’ve seen. Not a chip, burger or pie in sight. Instead, Mediterranean-inspired dishes full of flavour.

To start, I devour lamb meatballs in tomato sauce and yoghurt (£6.50). Though the four meatballs are small, the richness of this fresh-tasting sauce means the portion is a perfect size.

Main at the Lady Mildmay. Picture: Carline ChengMain at the Lady Mildmay. Picture: Carline Cheng

My friend, meanwhile, goes for sardines with pomegranate and tapenade (£6.50). As someone whose weakness is seafood, she can’t believe her luck at this dish: “Enough to be a main,” she reports. “Fragrantly charred to perfection.”

I choose blade steak in a borlotti bean stew with chimmi churro (£15.50) for my main. The delicate meat is juicy, with more of the charring experienced by my friend in her starter. It’s the type of dish you deliberately take your time to savour.

My friend is slightly less enamoured with her Portugese pork and clam stew (£13.50). As ever, she enjoys the seafood element. But the sauce is slightly over-salted, upsetting the balance of flavours.

Our friendly waiter recommends the chocolate mousse, which I am delighted to go along with. While my less greedy friend enjoys ice cream, I am stunned at the pure intensity of the chocolate flavour. It’s my favourite dish of the night.

Dessert at the Lady Mildmay. Picture: Carline ChengDessert at the Lady Mildmay. Picture: Carline Cheng

So it’s clear the Lady Mildmay has a good thing going on. Even if you’re not enthused by the sophisticated (and admittedly fairly pricy) menu, this pub remains an excellent drinking establishment. And if you want to try out a different kind of pub food, this is your place.

Lady Mildmay: 92, Mildmay Park, N1 4PR. Visit ladymildmay.com or call 020 7241 6238.

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