THE traditionalist in me instantly recoiled. Dinner at a pub in a shopping centre? The whole concept is rather unnatural and so, to a certain extent, was the experience. The Bull serves pub food, draught lager, ale, fancy crisps, has a pool table and is furnished with lots of pubby things.

But it just doesn't feel like a pub, which if you've had a hard day shopping but don't fancy a bite in one of the endless Italian or chain restaurants that surround Westfield, isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Apart from the exterior and location, another factor that makes The Bull a sort of pseudo-pub is its size.

Like Westfield itself, it's massive, with three floors, and the decor, although pleasant, ever so slightly made me feel like I was having my last meal before a flight out of Terminal 5.

For starters ('Small Plates'), I had a veal and pork terrine with chutney and toast (£6.50), which, despite having the texture and look of the inside of a pork pie, was very tasty, as was the chutney.

My Norwegian companion went for cauliflower soup (£4.50) - apparently a speciality in his country - and gave it the thumbs-up.

As a child of the celebrity chef generation, it has been drummed into me the importance of a small menu, so The Bull scores well here, although it lacks imagination.

Mains ('Bigger Plates') included all the classics, like fish and chips, sausage and mash, plaice, curry of the day and spaghetti bolognaise, but I went for the steak, the cut of which changes regularly.

On this occasion it turned out to be rib-eye, my favourite, but it was slightly disappointing - not the melt-in-the-mouth, fatty tenderness a good rib-eye should have - and the accompanying chips were slightly undercooked. The mushroom sauce was also too rich for my tastes, and the side of sauteed cabbage (£2.50) too buttery.

But my companion was impressed with his fish pie (£10) and was particularly taken with its homemade appearance and ratio of fish to mash.

He had a cheese board to finish (£6.50), while I went for a warm chocolate brownie, curiously surrounded with pastry, and vanilla ice cream (£5).

It's a good value menu however, the food is decent rather than excellent.

But The Bull makes a good stab at being a warm and welcoming place to sit down and grab a bite.

But a pub in the way that we know it? Not quite.

THE BULL Southern Terrace

Westfield 0208 819 8903