Sands End 1

135-137 Stephendale Road , London, SW6 2PR

5 reviews

45 Gastropub Fulham

Sands End November 2015 1

SquareMeal Review of Sands End

“Still the epicentre of ‘rah’ in suburban Fulham”, the Sands End is a neat fusion of buzzy local boozer and candlelit dining room. Everything is in the best possible taste, from the muted colours and refectory tables to the sophisticated menu of cracking pub food. The kitchen combines hearty grub with a touch of culinary ambition – a starter of seared chilli-spiced beef with truffle ponzu, spring onions and garlic chips displays real expertise from the off. The seasons generally have their say, which might mean cep velouté with potato emulsion followed by oxtail and stout pie with glazed carrots in deepest winter. If ale is what you're after, you can also hang out at the bar with a pint of Black Sheep and some nibbles: snacks such as Scotch eggs are top-drawer. They do “the best Sunday pub lunch” too, according to one regular.

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5.6

Food & Drink: 6.8

Service: 5.2

Atmosphere: 6.8

Value: 4.8

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 1.0

Caro J. 08 December 2013

We went for a birthday , expected a bit of TLC but the place was obviously over booked and there was a lack of communication between waiters and managers of the place/bar/kitchen. We were ten people and did not manage to be served at the same time (food was not ready), then they ran out of wine glasses. Then they ran out of the different wines we had started ordering and could not really offer anything else. Then the plates we got were dirty, and we ended up eating birthday cake with a soup spoon…all of this for more than £50/head (which did not include the cake). Not very happy overall, will not go again which is a shame as I live locally.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Andrew H. bronze reviewer 20 July 2012

Have visited the Sands End several times as it is local to me. It is a lively and friendly venue, usually very busy with a great atmosphere. A lot of Made in Chelsea types (including the staff) but none the worse for that! Consistently excellent food which is a notch or two above the general gastropub fare. The menu changes frequently and, while not extensive, typically has good variety and choice. The cooking and presentation tends to show good flair with some inventive and unusual creations. The trade off is prices which are perhaps slightly higher than the average gastropub but, in my opinion, well worth it. Wine list is reasonable – again not overly extensive but a good selection with enough variety. Being a pub there is also good beer on tap. Service is friendly and competent, remembering that it is a pub more than a restaurant. Waiting staff are generally well informed about the menu. Also worthy of note are the bar snacks. A small selection of tasty home made classics such as scotch eggs.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Jeremy C. 07 August 2011

This place is known for its scotch eggs but the rest of the menu is great. Always a good selection of specials. What makes the place for me is the vibe. Some great staff and a very well produced product. Slightly off the beaten path and with a committed local following. A well known venue – everyone I've spoken to seems to have been there and speaks highly about the place. If anyone had a bad experience here then they must have been very unlucky (but no one is perfect – not even them).

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

David J. gold reviewer 02 June 2011

The Sands End Public House & Kitchen will always hold a special place for me… at the end of my road. Out the door, turn left and left again. It’s my local bar and restaurant. My escape. My drop-in. My boozer. Hidden on a quiet residential Fulham road, the low-built, two-storey Sands End caters to the locals: that mix of builder-bar leaners and toff-slumming, pink shirt and chino wearers (I class myself in that catchment area somewhere inbetween the two. I’ve never pulled off making a pink shirt appear ‘cool’). Indeed, AA Gill wrote in his 2008 review of The Sands End, “If it were at the bottom of my street, I’d be jolly pleased”. Liam Kirwan (previously of Kensington Place, Blueprint Café and The Gun, Canary Wharf) is head chef and promotes “Great British food with an Irish heart”. There isn’t that much evidence of an Irish theme when I last visited however, instead, scotch eggs, English lamb, Scottish whisky and oysters from Mersea in Essex. It’s more British/Irish fusion cooking in a rural gastropub setting, or “Great British food with an Irish elbow”. We’re squeezed in at 7pm without a reservation and despite the certainty of it being a clearly busy and balmy Friday summer evening, we are not pushed or hassled, and sit comfortably through our three-courses until near 9pm. Service was snappy and attentive and we were given the daily printed menu. There is one member of staff in particular named James who is most welcoming and kind and has shown this on several of my visits. Once, offering two twenty-minute late desserts (and coffee) on the house, without me even pushing. I choose 1/2 dozen West Mersea oysters (£8.95), which arrive on ice and with a lemon segment and a sweet red onion dressing. They are cool and salty and there’s not much to moan. Truffles had the salmon tartar with avocado salsa, which was steeply priced at £8.50, and had lumpy salmon on top of tiny avocado cuts so cold and hardened, that aggressive fighting would loose you a tooth. It did not sit well on the plate and was disappointing. The mains read well: roast venison with dauphinoise potatoes and rump of lamb with fondant potato and shallot puree, then there’s mackerel and a delicious sea bream. My field mushroom risotto with shaved Parmesan (£13.00) was a small but thick, offering, sweet, sticky hanging risotto, just as it should be. It tasted rich and creamy and the thick wild mushrooms gave the dish a wild and necessary flavour. Truffle’s fillet of sea bass with creamed parsley mash potato, mange tout and champagne velouté (£16.50) gave me a sudden bout of food envy and on tasting the buttered fish, sent me into Meg Ryan moans of ecstasy. It was smooth like butterscotch and melted effortlessly on the tongue – a triumphant dish. I’ve had the game pie and lamb on previous visits and both are superb. Friends have told me that the bar snacks are a delight in their own right and the scotch egg (£2.80) tasted delightful, ductile and snug in it’s rounded breadcrumb casing, oozing from its internal. Rock oysters are available at £1.50 each, Welsh rarebit is £4.00 and Sands End crackling (a fashionably named pork scratching I presume) is £3.50. We enjoyed a light Pinot Noir (Domaine la Colombette 2007, £20.90) from a well-sourced and affordable list where prices start at £14.70 and are marked up with admirable restraint: £20 Beaujolais and a £22 Rioja, all the way up to £65 for Gevrey Chambertin and £79 at the summit for Chateau Rauzan Segla. Desserts can literally be ‘the icing on the cake’ and are often a deal-breaker. They are good here. A treacle tart with malt ice cream (£5.50) has become one of my favourites (one evening last week I nipped down here and ordered the tart – who wasn’t in so I made do with a dessert. Ahem. Sorry – and a glass of Merlot). The panna cotta (£6.50) is flat though and a little routine, but fine. Finishing with a double malt whisky (£6.00) – it just seemed right – fired the belly and it’s only a short stagger home anyway.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 0.0

Jaz E. 22 March 2009

Very unimpressed. Yes, other reviewers refer to a calmness at Sands End. We too were sucked in by that apparent attribute. In reality, it is quite different. What masquerades as simplicity, manifests itself as high prices and poor service. We arrived for Sunday lunch. Greeted by polite public school boys, we were shown to our table right by the ladies room. Ignoring that, the politeness soon ebbed away. These are just kids. The table service was incompetent, and when things started to go wrong they hid behind platitudes to cover up the problems in the kitchen. After an hour and a quarter waiting for the main course, we were told ours was up next. 20 minutes after that, we were told 5 mins. 15 minutes after that it arrived. The French boy who became our waiter over time became increasingly flustered, and by the time I asked to pay the bill he had become insolent. What Sands End needs to realize is that you can't charge these prices and deliver poor service. If the menu is short, life shouldn't be complicated. It took 35 minutes to produce one smoked salmon and one cauliflower soup. One of the roast beefs we ordered was very grisly, almost inedible. We left two and a half hours after we arrived, unimpressed by the short and dull menu, and feeling distinctly unwelcome. Never again.

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