Last weekend I headed over to Kew Gardens for a spot of suburban lunch at The Cricketers, an independent gastro pub on picturesque Kew Green, Richmond. A large homely living room interior full of comfy sofas and rustic furnishings with a front patio and beer garden at the back, this is the perfect place for a summer lunch. The Cricketers was renamed as a nod to the rich cricket history in the area with the sport itself having been played on the Green outside the pub since 1737.
As we baked in the sunshine a cheery waiter approached us to take our drinks order. He recommended a couple of options including Fentimen’s lemonade (no drinking alcohol due to my friend being pregnant). We felt so at ease, the surroundings of greenery, birds chirping and gorgeous sunshine were ticking all the boxes. I felt as though I was dining at a country pub not somewhere just off the Chiswick roundabout.
Drinks clinked and onto the food;
For starters I had scallops with fried chorizo and a rocket salad- juicy, creamy, sweet and ever so perfectly cooked plump scallops. The chorizo bites were slightly hard and chewy however the overall dish was light, flavoursome and full of life.
My blogging contributor opted for the chicken, bacon and avocado salad – slices of succulent pulled smoked chicken sat top of a bed of crisp, fresh green leaves, creamy avocado and crispy bacon. A very good size for the starter perhaps a bit too big, but I wouldn’t complain about that, would work ideally as a main.
Really I should of had a light lunch but when I saw Wild Boar burger on the menu I couldn’t resist ordering it. It did not disappoint, the perfect burger! perfect in size and taste! The meat patty oozed with meaty goodness, firm flesh yet beautifully tender, cooked at medium the meat patty was compact and did not fall apart. The bun was lightly toasted and a good bake but the added thick slice of black pudding added depth, richness and heartiness to the burger.
My friend went for the rib eye steak cooked well done but the knife still cut through it like butter. There were a lot of accompaniments to the meal inc large onion rings, chips and roasted tomatoes which we couldn’t finish. You get a lot for your money although if I had paid £23 for that steak I would have been very disappointed. There was quite a bit of gristle and fat cuts off, it was good, but not £23 good.
Of course we made way for dessert, the ultimate dessert; creme brulee! My favourite after dinner indulgence but boy I’ve eaten some bad ones however The Cricketers did it justice. Served cold the vibrant yellow custard was thick, creamy, luscious flavoured with vanilla for that extra x factor. The crisp hardened sugar topping cracked perfectly when pelted with my spoon, ahhh just pure satisfaction and complete decadence.
The Cricketers gave me a perfect summer Saturday, very attentive and polite staff and manager, genuinely showing concern when we asked for soft drinks that they had out of stock (they offered good alternatives) and constantly asking whether we were ok and needed anything else. This without knowing we were there to review!! The food was top notch and of restaurant quality, the steak was a slight let down but each to their own. The high quality of the ingredients and passion for producing sensational British pub grub is evident. Cannot wait for my next visit, you will be bowled over – pun intended.