Everything we ordered at The Grove was high quality but there were a couple of dishes my dining partner and I would describe as outstanding.
This fine dining pub – in the Michelin Guide 2014 – is in a prime location, just off The Green, close to The Broadway, High Street, and walking distance from Ealing Broadway station.
The decor is sophisticated, elegant and modern, with a few paintings dotted around and small lamps giving nice lighting.
A red rose and lit candle on each table, with a view of the open kitchen, completed the ambience.
After being seated we had a small glass with a couple of cheese twists placed in front of us, a nice touch to keep one going even before studying the menu.
My companion was given small samples of beers to taste before making his choice, a nice way to cater for the individual.
To start we had home baked carraway seed bread with olive oil and shallot butter (£1.50), butternut squash and parsnip soup (£5.50) and grilled Cornish sardines with tapenade croutons (£7).
We thought the shallot butter was original and the bread was very fresh. The soup was nice but nothing out of the ordinary and perhaps under seasoned. However, the sardines were exceptional – perfectly cooked, juicy, strong and delicious in flavour, while the croutons were crispy and indulgent.
For the main course I went for hake, Poole cockles and sea shore vegetables (£16). The fish was cooked just right and the dish was filling but not too rich. The cockles were nicely salty and the sauce was lovely and zesty.
My dining partner had the 28-day dry aged Angus rib-eye and hand cut chips with peppercorn sauce (£19.50).
He asked for the steak to be medium rare and said it was ‘bang on’.
For dessert we shared sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice-cream (£5.50) and were recommended the glazed lemon tart with raspberry sorbet (£5.50).
You can never go wrong with sticky toffee pudding but my companion, a chef himself, said you would struggle to find a better lemon tart, and that it was well executed with perfectly set brulee on top.
The prices at The Grove are not cheap, but you do get prompt service and impressive British meals.