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Friday, 7 May 2010

Mission: Find the Best Burger in London - The Pear Tree

The Pear Tree

Living in Islington, Barons Court is not one of those London boroughs I find myself in very often. Distance is no real impediment on my quest to find good nosh around town, so when I heard that The Pear Tree had an Aberdeen Angus beef burger on their menu, it didn’t take much persuasion.

The Pear Tree was recently taken over by new proprietors “Darren and Lulu” who also own “The Bird in Hand” pub in nearby Fulham. I had the pleasure to meet and chat with both about the daunting enterprise that it was to turn this once neglected boozer into the charming, local gastro pub I was visiting that evening.

Housed in an elegant, early Victorian building, one of the oldest in the area, the pub has a cozy feel, and has been simpathetically furnished. The clientele is mostly young and affluent; I noted a few doctors and nurses there as the pub is located just behind Charing Cross Hospital.

Gary of Start Space (Columbia Road Art Gallery and Café) accompanied me on the evening. A quick look at the menu was enough for us to make our choices, and soon after placing our orders, our starters arrived.

The “Duck rillette with salami, red onion marmalade and cornichons” @ £4.50 was delightful and a very generous portion considering its price. The rillette was deliciously fatty, well seasoned and as good as the rillettes I have eaten in the South West of France or at Terroirs in Central London.

The “Vegetable tempura with soy and ginger dipping sauce” @ £3.95 was also a well executed dish, with a thin, crisp batter.

Gary’s “Whole grilled mackarel with chorizo, beetroot, new potatoes, and watercress salad” @ £11.75 was again perfectly cooked and beautifully presented. The chorizo stood up well to the fish - it was a delicious combination I had never tried before.

The star of the evening however was the “Aberdeen Angus beef burger with handcut chips” @ £8.95. The patty was chunky, meaty, and had been cooked medium rare. The meat flavour was intense with a delicious char-grilled quality. The chips were also outstanding, piping hot and very moreish.

For dessert, we had “Chocolate terrine with vanilla ice cream” @ £3.95 and “Pancakes with bananas and caramel sauce” @ £3.95. These were both simple and well made, and the perfect end to a very good meal.

I was truly impressed by the consistently high standard of cooking in all the dishes I tried, and by the quality of the ingredients used. The Pear Tree epithomizes what in my opinion great pub food should be –unfussy, delicious and affordable to all.

Cost: this was a complimentary meal but I have quoted prices for all the dishes we tried. I estimate that a 3-course meal would cost around £18 per person excluding drinks and service.

Likes: great food, cozy and intimate décor, good range of beers on tap, and wines by the glass. Prices are very reasonable for the quality of food being served. Friendly service.

Dislikes: None.

Verdict: A real gem of a pub in Barons Court’s Margravine Road. Exceptional Aberdeen Angus beef burger. A must to anyone who lives or finds themselves in the area for excellent food, wine or beer at very affordable prices. Highly recommended.

The Pear Tree on Urbanspoon


  1. This is exciting! I've owned a flat in this area for ages and it's always been on the shabby side. Suddenly we have not one but TWO decent gastropubs, with the Idle Hour opening in the old Queen's Arms in Greyhound Road round the corner as well. Hurrah! Thanks so much for this review.

  2. I'm glad to see my theory that you can't beat a good burger in a pub holds true here! Aside from the food, I like the quirky look of this pub - it looks like it has a lot of character.

  3. Looks like a gem - in my neighborhood!

  4. So much for the burger I love the sound of the mackerel and chorizo -it sounds great

  5. @ Martha - excellent news, we can never have too many good gastro pubs in any one area. I really recommend the Pear Tree, let me know when you try the new pub once it is opened!

    @ Mr Noodles - the pub was very cozy and had some quirky furniture and style. The food was also top notch!

    @ Jill - you're so lucky, so many good pubs near you specially the Harwood Arms, pls let me know when you would like to go back there I would love to come too.

    @ Gourmet Chick - the mackerel and chorizo was also fantastic, I loved the combination of fish and pork sausage.

  6. The burger looks pretty good as does the very VERY chunky chips!! Have you tried Byron in Islington yet?

  7. Hi Catty - not in Islington, but i drove it past it today, the place looks fantastic. I love Byron burgers and courgette fritters! It was lovely going to Portal with you and Panus, we should do it this more often. Lx

  8. Hi! I stumbled across this post, and was just wondering if you would recommend this place as a romantic date spot? Thanks!


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