Now part of the ‘Nicholson’s’ group and looking to move on from it’s previous guise as a straight-up chain pub, Richmond’s Railway Tavern is a recently redeveloped pub/restaurant which is handily close to the train station.
This was incredibly useful as my Google Maps decided to pack up as I stepped off the train, and I really wasn’t looking forward to the prospect of having to actually talk to someone to try and find out where I was going.
With it being January and unsurprisingly cold, dark and wet I just wanted to eat.
The Tavern is a vast building which you enter through the front bar area which is all newly done up.
The restaurant itself is inoffensive enough, plenty of elephant grey paint liberally applied to the walls and the usual vintage lampshades and posters with Richmond references ticking all the boxes.
My date and I scanned the menu and opted for brie fondue and crispy calamari to start.
The fondue genuinely was excellent and a definite highlight – suitably creamy and served with a fine chutney – and turned out to be the best thing about the meal.
Not that the rest of it was bad – my date wolfed down the crispy calamari without complaint.
All dishes were served very quickly and the fleet of young and enthusiastic waiters were all smiles.
Being a stickler for honesty, I was keen to try one of their ‘perfect pies’. Secretly I admired the forthrightness and confidence with which they name this particular selection of dishes.
After a quick discussion of the concept of a perfect pie – could a pie really be perfect? Or was it just handy alliteration? I settled for the lamb shank offering.
The puff pastry was suitably puffy, and the selections of peas and carrots that helped the lamb fill the dish was warming enough.
The mash was a little dry, and my date, who plumped for the sausage and mash agreed – a slight disappointment when it’s half of the title of the dish you’re eating.
To round off I plumped for the apple and plum cumble while my dining partner settled on baked vanilla cheesecake.
When I have crumble I like to have loads of it, so this was great because the serving was hearty.
So good in fact, that the small amount of custard you were served wasn’t really enough to cover the whole dish, which left it a little dry.
You would think it was the last baked vanilla cheesecake that my date would ever eat given the superlatives coming out of her mouth.
‘Best cheesecake ever’ is a direct quote but we’d been loosened by plenty of alcohol by this point…
Good pub food at good prices – and you can’t really argue with that.
If you tumble out of Richmond station on a cold winter’ night starving, you know just where to go.