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The Caterer

The Rosendale – Menuwatch

16 August 2007
The Rosendale – Menuwatch

With the Greyhound racing to success after success, its owners decided to double their efforts with another south London gastropub - the Rosendale. Gaby Huddart finds out if it works

Since it opened three years ago, gastropub the Greyhound at Battersea in south London has enjoyed packed houses and numerous critical plaudits. Buoyed by its success, owners Mark and Sharlyn van der Goot opened their second venture early last month, also in south London: the Rosendale in West Dulwich.

Before the opening, they carried out a major refurbishment of the former Victorian coaching inn, creating simple but elegant interiors, with a casual bar and grill area seating 56 (and a further 100 outside) and a more formal dining area seating 62 (and another 60 alfresco).

South African-born head chef Matthew Foxon, who spent a year at the Greyhound before the Rosendale's opening, offers menus that are, as Mark van der Goot puts it, "focused on top-quality produce, with as much sourced locally as possible". He continues: "His brief here is to not get too tricksy with the food, but to serve a maximum of five excellent ingredients on the plate, beautifully presented."

In the bar area, simple salads, grilled steaks and burgers are offered daily from noon until 10pm, while more crafted dishes are served in the dining area for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday and for lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Thanks to its immediate popularity - the pub now serves an average of 1,100 diners a week - the restaurant menu has been expanded to nine options at each course, and van der Goot explains that one or two dishes are changed every week "to ensure that our regulars find something new each time".

On Caterer‘s recent visit, a starter of delicately wood-smoked eel came presented with a refreshing apple jelly and rich anchovy mayonnaise (£8), and seared Cornish scallops were partnered with beetroot, baby leek ribbons, frilly salad and a piquant caper dressing (£7.50).

Foxon's roots were evident in a main course of dukka-spiced Kezie Farm ostrich fillet with beef bobotie (a spiced ground beef dish with apricots, almonds and egg) and sweet potato purée (£14.50), which was saved from being overly heavy by careful portion control.

More UK-inspired options included an excellent pork belly and loin served with celeriac rémoulade, black pudding, peas and dried apple slices (£15.50) - a terrific balancing act of complementary ingredients. An understanding of European cuisine was also evident, with the likes of barbecued monkfish fillet with squid ink tagliatelle, mussels and chickpea purée (£16).

The British cheese selection (£8) proved a good way to finish, while more sweet-toothed options included a lemon tart accompanied by a spectacular selection of tropical fruits, and an agreeably sharp lemon sorbet (£5).

Looking ahead, Foxon, with his brigade of six chefs and three porters, hopes to offer regular specials based on ingredients from his newly planted kitchen garden. He says: "We have lettuces, tomatoes, spinach, carrots, beans, peas, horseradish, aubergine and cranberries. Down the line, we'll have lots of our own produce to work with."

Alongside the food menus is a vast wine list notable for its fair mark-ups, betraying Mark van der Goot's background as a sommelier.

What's on the menu

  • Courgette and lettuce soup, new season sweet corn, olive oil, £5
  • Quail, red pepper glaze, duck gizzards and crispy new potatoes, £7
  • Wild mushroom ravioli, mustard sauce, £7
  • Welsh beef fillet, foie gras, summer cabbage, pancetta, potato stick, £19.50
  • Pan-roasted pollack fillet, fennel, prawns, sauce vierge, £15.50
  • Kentish lamb rump, slow-roasted garlic, ratatouille, potato purée, lamb kofta, £15.50
  • Bread and butter pudding, home-dried grapes, clotted cream ice-cream, £5
  • Triple chocolate mousse, rum-poached cherries, praline shortbread, £6
  • Buttermilk panna cotta, strawberry and lemon grass soup, £5

The Rosendale, 65 Rosendale Road, West Dulwich, London SE21 8EZ, Tel: 020 8670 0812,www.therosendale.co.uk

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