Restaurant review: The Flask, Hampstead, NW3
PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 June 2013 | UPDATED: 11:39 24 June 2013
One of the village’s old-timers gets it mostly right with a rethink of its menu and decor.
Fresh-faced from a refurb, Young’s gastropub The Flask is now two very different prospects.
The comfy Victorian bar and lounge, dating from 1869, is preserved and looks as dimly elegant as ever.
The more spacious drawing room and newly refurbished conservatory at the back, however, are very much of the moment.
Artfully mismatched chairs and tables are well spaced out, while curiosities sit amid vintage metal tins, old books and photos on the shelves surrounding a window into the kitchen.
Patio doors and a huge roof light keep it airy, and a brand new menu is offered.
Focussing on the best of British, the choice is decent if unsurprising and the prices in line with rivals.
The two lamb breast croquettes (£6.50) were good-sized barrels of juicy meat, but the dainty presentation left them wanting of more yoghurt, pickled cucumber and mint.
Truffled Jerusalem artichoke soup (£5), aided and abetted by two slices of Gail’s Bakery sourdough, was almost overcharged with garlic, too.
Having visited on a Sunday it would have been rude to refuse a roast, and the lemon and thyme roast chicken, pork belly and 21-day aged sirloin of beef (£13-14.50 each) were only bested by the £20 blowout offering all three, with a Yorkshire pudding and roasted veg on the side (but, be warned, no roast potato).
Far better value is the generously-proportioned braised beef short rib and bone marrow cottage pie (£10), full of tender, flavoursome meat with a good crusted top – try it with the hispi cabbage and smoked bacon side (£4).
The rhubarb fool with ginger shortbread sprinkled on top (£6) is worth the outlay, too. Choose carefully and this is a good bet.
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