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With The Bird in Hand (W14) and The Old White Bear (NW3) already to his credit, Jasper Gorst has remodelled his Shepherd’s Bush local (a fading
West London gin palace) along the lines of The Oak on Westbourne Park Road. Lazy weekend brunch and lunch deals bring out the area’s young professionals and design-conscious Kooples, who sip
cocktails while picking their way through plates of oysters, portobello mushroom bruschetta, savoury croissants or salt beef hash with duck egg. In the evening, order a pint of Doom Bar or
something from the reasonably priced wine list to go with Anglo-Med dishes that might include crab, dandelion, radish and broad bean salad, quail saltimbocca, pea shoot and parmesan risotto or
sautéed rabbit with chorizo and roast tomatoes – plus pizzas from the wood-fired oven and puds such as lemon polenta cake.
With its focus on Mediterranean food, it’s entirely understandable that this new addition to Jasper Gorst’s stable should have a wine list that’s heavily dominated by France, Italy and, to a lesser extent, Spain and Portugal. Its 60 or so bins are well priced (there’s not much over £40) and there are decent tasting notes for each one – which is handy for a pub/restaurant cross-over. ‘There’s only one rosé,’ noted judge Jo Eames, ‘but otherwise customers will find plenty to drink at a good price.’
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