The Farm, Fulham
18 Farm Lane, London SW6 1PP
Website: The Farm
Tucked away in a little lane behind Fulham Broadway sits The Farm, a trendy pub/restaurant. Feeling adventurous and a bit lavish a group of us decided to spend our Friday night at the Farm for some food, drinks and good company. First impressions - classy looking place with dark wood panels with cozy nooks and fireplaces. Very nice for a first date or intimate tete-a-tete if you manage to get one of the plush leather couches to yourselves. None of us had any cocktails but looking around, it definitely looked inviting and presumably it tasted as lovely. The bar area is separated from the restaurant bit, slightly hidden behind some wood panelling - red walls, funky lighting and dark wood tables - all very posh. We got there a bit early and started off with some drinks around the bar area. It all looked promising and the lively atmosphere started out the night on a good note. Now onto the food - this is where it all went a bit pear shaped. We were seated around 9pm and after 10 minutes or so, the waitress came around and asked us to hurry with our orders as the kitchen was closing soon. What the?? Why take reservations for 9 if you're not going to close the kitchen soon? We made our reservation over the phone but the Farm offers the choice of making reservation online from its website (www.thefarmfulham.co.uk) and the latest bookings taken are for 10.30pm. Anyways, so we soldiered on and bypassed any starters (well, we had to hurry right?) and went straight for the mains. Unfortunately I can only offer the two pictures below of what we had.
Most folks opted for the sea bass with fennel whilst I decided to be a little adventurous and went for the pork belly with chicken livers and black pudding. We also had an order for a risotto of some sort. Firstly, the risotto was VERY disappointing - looked terrible and was bland. Unfortunately I can't offer an visual proof but take my word for it. Even the celebrities from last year's Hell's Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay put together a more appetising plate. It was as if someone has cooked the rice and decided to throw in some stock after everything was done - the rice was watery and swimming in liquid with some limp greens. The seabass was quite good - tasty fish but portions were small. At around £15 per portion, one would expect a little more to it then a tiny fillet and veges as you can see from the picture.
The plate it was served up was huge though, just too bad we couldn't eat it (yes, we could have eaten more).
As for the belly pork - it was definitely a disappointment. I've had belly pork before - often its quite decadent when cooked properly where the fat and meat melts in your mouth in one gooey delight. This time, its all fat and it was absolutely off putting to get a mouthful of sticky fat with hardly any meat.
The belly pork was a let down to the entire dish but to be fair the rest of the dish was okay. The chicken livers were done quite well and the black pudding was very good (for a person who normally abhors black pudding). The pork/liver/black pudding combination would have worked quite well but personally for me it was let down by the all too fatty pork. Its definitely no credit to the chef when the accompaniments were the best thing about the whole dish.
At the end of the meal, with everyone having only a mains and 2 bottles of wine between 8 of us, it came to around £28 per person. On the surface it doesn't seem too bad but seeing as we left still a bit hungry and with only a glass of wine I'm not sure that it was very good value for money. Overall, the Farm is quite a nice bar - good ambiance, lovely surroundings but give the food a miss. There are an abundance of eateries around the area - head to one of those to fill your bellies and head to the bar for your good night out.
The Other Hag
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