Bull & Last 22

168 Highgate Road , London, NW5 1QS

10 reviews

44 Gastropub Kentish Town

  • Bull & Last
  • Bull & Last

SquareMeal Review of Bull & Last

With animal heads on its walls (nothing endangered, mind) and a bucolic finish, The Bull & Last has the feel of a country pub in the big city. The ground-floor bar can generate quite a buzz at busy times, so diners might prefer heading up the stairs to the (relative) poshness of the restaurant, where there’s more room to kick back and take in the menu. Some appealing nourishment is on the cards, treading a line between hearty rusticity and metropolitan refinement. The charcuterie and fish boards offer sharing possibilities, or you could keep scallop ceviche all to yourself. Steak and chips or fish and chips crank up the comfort factor, with the likes of rump of English lamb with Jerusalem artichoke purée and lamb pastilla, and a dessert of black fig Tatin, revealing the culinary chops of the kitchen. London’s microbreweries get a good outing at the pumps.


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6.9

Food & Drink: 7.2

Service: 7.3

Atmosphere: 8.2

Value: 6.9

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Vi V. gold reviewer 13 December 2015

Only had the starters as we wanted a light meal but will be back soon for a proper complete meal! jeruselam artichoke soup - delicious rich and warming soup goes well with the cheesy croquette. I had it as a starter but it could do well as a light snack. seafood platter - not only a pretty sight but the spread of salad, mousse, fried and cured mixture was delightful. terrine - sublime! Full of textures and flavours. It was very good but do find it a little pricey.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

SEW bronze reviewer 24 May 2015

An outstanding "fish platter" starter that would not have been out of place in a Michelin starred restaurant. Innovative and delicious food. Definitely worth another visit.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Hannah s. 20 April 2015

Quite simply the best steak I've ever eaten. I also had the Ferrero Roche ice cream, which I wasn't such a fan of because of the texture, but the taste of the meal overall was EXCELLENT!

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 0.0

Anastasiya K. 11 August 2014

I am a very lazy reviewer, not writing outstanding reviews where they are due, and not highlighting the negatives in certain restaurants to warn potential future customers from the horrors I have experienced, but the Bull & Last horror was so bad, I simply cannot let this one slide! Just to draw-up some context, myself and my partner are real foodies, we love discovering and trying new places, these span from Michelin-starred restaurants right down to the takeaway food trucks, the only requirement we have is great food (and preferably good service, but we can let this slide in the name of a delectable meal). The point here, is we are not concerned with the fluff, and can appreciate quality food, which unfortunately we did not find at the Bull & Last. The Bull & Last, was on our forever expanding list of places to visit, and so the miserable Sunday weather of the 10th of August (2014) prompted us to seek out the comforts of a cosy local pub, with what we believed was going to be a party for our bellies, so much so that on arrival, I declared how much I love that we reside in North London because we are fortunate to have such wonderful places as our ‘local eats’ (this was before we had even walked through the door). We settled somewhere half way by a window, perfect for people watching and taking in the decor (don't let this fool you). Our menus arrived with one decorated with a questionable stain, it could have been baby-food, it could have been adult food-splatter, who knows, but undeterred I pushed the stained menu (a double-sided A4 sheet of paper) away and suggested we share, who needs individual menus anyway? We settled on an Organic Sea Trout Salad with Marsh Samphire, Cucumber & Crispy Hen's Egg (£9) to share. Credit where it is due, this was absolutely delicious. Fresh, full of flavour and did a great job of wetting our appetite for the mains. North Essex Shorthorn Roast Rib of Beef with Yorkshire Pudding, Roast Potatoes, Carrots & Horseradish (£20 each) was our choice of mains. We had seen this travelling past us to the neighbouring tables, and it felt just right for a Sunday! On arrival, the mains looked incredible, we had certainly waited for them log enough and without hesitation we began to devour what we hoped would be the answer to the the Sunday-blues. Can I just point out, at this point we were still not asked if we would like anything to drink, though a bottle of water was placed on our table during the routine table set-up/napkin and cutlery placement. This is the exact point where the worms began to climb out of the woodwork, not literally, however that would not surprise me much either. Not long into the main course, and my partner questioned the meat “ Darling, how is you meat? Mine appears to be undercooked, look…” pointing to a bloody piece of limp meat which was hidden under the enormous Yorkshire pudding, less amusing now that we were questioning whether the meat was sufficiently cooked. I inspected mine, yes it did appear rather ‘rare’, but as I am not averse to a little bit of redness in my meat, this did not put me off, completely. My partner did not eat the meat. I was weary that we were neither presented with a choice of how we would like our meat cooked, neither were we advised that this is served rare (raw). At this point it is probably not necessary to talk about the potatoes, but these were, ironically, over-cooked, hard and not very fresh. Our plates were collected and the routine half-question half-statement was muttered “How was your food…?”. I did not hesitate to point out that the meal was disappointing, and the untouched meat on my partner's plate was clearly raw. The waitress apologised, and said she will pass this on to the kitchen. She offered us up the dessert menus, which at this point appeared to be nothing more than flowery words with an unjustifiable price-tag, we opted for coffees. These were the final disappointment of the afternoon, or so we thought, but I will come back to this part of the story last. Our bill was honoured with a measly deduction of my Bloody Mary, and our total was still £61 with both £20 mains inclusive, I found this to be a very poor excuse for an apology! We had gone in to the Bull & Last with such optimism, only to leave feeling cheated. Cheated is what I wish we felt this morning, clutching on to our stomach in agonising pain. I will spare you the details, but we all know the symptoms of food-poisoning, if not, you can refer to the NHS page on this. Today is a Monday morning, we are unable to attend work and this is undoubtably worth far more than a cost of a Bloody Mary! Do not bother, unless you are looking for a reason to be out of action!

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 1.0

HT 02 November 2013

Used to be pleasant but now seems to be trading off its name, rather than delivering good food with friendly service. There are now plenty of good gastropubs, and the Bull & last is just not delivering to same standards.. It's certainly not worth making a trip for. And tip for staff: if a customer waits 40 mins for food to come and asks why it's taking so long, the correct response is not “it hasn't been that long, we're very busy”.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Lynn W. platinum reviewer 03 June 2012

Saturday night at the Bull and Last is busy and noisy, with a mix of people going in for dinner or just a pint. It's definitely a pub, the wood floors, tables, walls and ceiling being well worn and shabby, in a good way. The brief menu of gastro pub standards includes battered fish and chips, with some other stuff we thought more interesting. There's a strong emphasis on seasonal produce, and we had asparagus with crispy egg, and pea salad with pea fritters to start, followed by confit of duck, with lots more peas! Didn't spot that on the menu when we were ordering so it's good we like them. Casual style, loads of flavour, really enjoyable food. We got seduced by the sound of the ice creams and had ferrero rocher and millionaires shortbread flavours – they were OK, wouldn't bother with them again. The chocolate in them didn't seem to be good quality, more like cheaper cooking chocolate. Service was friendly and prompt, we didn't have to wait long for either starters or main courses. Wine list is fine, you can find something to go with your food, with plenty of wines by the glass. This isn't a smart gastropub with tablecloths that's really a restaurant, it's a pub with great food.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

HEW 06 May 2012

Service was exceptional – friendly, knowledgeable, efficient. Food was really tasty & of a high quality. Unfortunately the upstairs restaurant wasnt full on the Bank Hol Saturday but stiill had enough buzzy atmosphere; the pub downstairs was very busy. Will definitely go back & so glad that had finally managed to try it out!

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Ursula B. 10 March 2012

We chose this restaurant because you listed it as best in North West London! Really surprised when we tried the food. So so disappointing. The starter – a pumpkin ravioli – was lovely and got our hopes up. But the mains – 2 steaks but not called steaks because that would have been too simple – were ordinary. Really ordinary. Salad out of a bag and chips that were supposed to be ‘thrice cooked’ but were horrible. They had a taste of something other than pure potato – dripping maybe? Or a thrice-cooked oil perhaps! The bill was also a shock – £75+ for one starter, 2 steaks and a bottle of water! Really, this is just bog-standard pub grub. We visited Trullo last week – also on your recommendation and the first time we used ‘squaremeal.co.uk’ and it was fabulous. So different from this week's experience. After Trullo, I thought I could really trust your choices. After the Bull and Last, I'm not so sure.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Food fiend platinum reviewer 29 March 2010

Stunning food – my chicken liver pate was melt in the mouth, my roast was delicious (though bathed in too much gravy) and my ferrero rocher ice cream was utter bliss. Place was packed out plus a party upstairs so expect to book. Food was beautfiul though despite the slow service (almost 45min for my main to arrive!). I still prefer the Junction up the road for mains but for everything else, the Bull & Last hits the mark!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

robert b. platinum reviewer 21 October 2009

Well if Giles Coren, who lives down the road by the way, says it’s good you'd be a mug to not check it out. The ‘famous crab toast’ is indeed gobsmackingly good, totally reliant on the quality of ingredients which are first class. The menu is small and sometimes doesn't cater for those wanting something other than a meat pie, offal or a cut of meat that you have to look up. The service is not only very efficient, staff are accommodating, warm, friendly and knowledgeable, very few restaurants have staff that tick two of those boxes let alone all five. The wine list is small, as you would expect from a gastropub, but offers good value and is interesting. Atmosphere is lively as you would expect and informal with great views of Hampstead Heath if you are sat at one of the tables by the large front window. All in all very good. June 22 Been back a few times most recently last weekend. The menu now offers more variety, still got some St John style cuts/dishes – caramalised pigs head, very good-plus more tradtional fare. The charcuterie is outstanding, and I hadnt noticed Chatueau Fillot on the wine list before which at £7 a glass is almost a bargain! They have also opened a dining room upstairs and are proposing to offer hampers for those who want to eat over the road on the heath. An enterprising bunch. 20/10/09 Love this place, their scotch egg particularly when its warm is a thing of rare beauty. Don't though eat up stairs if you can help it, did recently for dinner with friends, and it took an eternity! if the bloke who owns half the decent restaurants and clubs in London, Richard what's his name? hadnt been sitting opposite we would have complained far more loudly. Another recently discovered gem on the menu, Ferrero Roche flavoured ice cream…unbelievable.

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