As a South East-Londoner, a trip to the West can often seem like an adventure into a parallel universe; with its architectural supremacy, suspicious cleanliness and its aura of high(er) status. The Brown Cow Pub in Fulham, a stones-throw from Parsons Green Station is no exception but its lack of pretension is something to be admired.
The internal décor is not hugely different from any other London watering hole that desires to compete with a rapidly gentrifying nation. We all know the drill; unvarnished wooden tables, an array of mirrors, blackboards with cheese and wine options scribed upon them in chalk. What is important to acknowledge is that 90% of the venue’s space was occupied by diners, crediting it as a food-centric venue.
Full to capacity, the atmosphere was buzzy and chilled, with an excellent playlist of pop classics, setting the mood. A basic selection of beers on draft but a healthy selection of real ales, pale ales, draft ales and lagers situated along the front of the bar.
Our waiter, Francesco, was certainly worth pointing out as his attentiveness to not only us, but the rest of the diners in the restaurant was commendable. As he brought us over the various menus necessary for the evenings commencements, the wine list was a beautifully abundant, engaging collection of grapes from around the world. Cheers!
But what really gets this place the high praise it deserves is (quite rightly), the food itself. Jumping on the ‘Veganuary’ band-wagon, it was a delight to see falafel, haloumi, aubergine and other common pub vegetarian classics replaced with more creative meals. Our starters of ‘spiced roast squash and apple soup’ and the ‘warm salad of Jerusalem artichokes, pumpkin and castle franco, watercress and walnut pesto’ were light but tasteful. The soup tasted like a late Christmas and the salad full of nutty texture, a delightfully delicious winter warmer.
Our mains were a vegan Cauliflower Katsu curry with sticky coconut and pine nut rice and a winter vegetable risotto with parsnip crisps.
The pink risotto, beautifully presented with a selection of multi-coloured vegetables was a divine tasting vegan delicacy. The curry; a plate radiating warmth with its varying shades of oranges and reds heated up our insides, preparing for the journey back into the January freeze.
What can be said for both dishes is the sheer quantity of food put in front of us. Whilst the prices could be seen as top end budget (around £16 for a main course), it is justified by the portion sizes.
I washed down the festive chocolate roulade served with Cognac cream that Francesco recommended we try, with an enjoyable glass of cotes-du-Rhone; a smooth, light, fruity and soft red wine.
A dog-friendly, hugely atmospheric pub with exquisite food and customer service to match, The Brown Cow Pub would be an ideal date night pub. Or to go with your family and friends whose palettes can appreciate the dedication, thought and love that has gone into this gastropub and its menu.
The Brown Cow Pub is located at 676 Fulham Rd, Fulham, London SW6 5SA for more info and bookings please visit their website here.