Kennington Road is a long stretch of road punctuated by a few pubs every now and then. The pubs of Kennington Road are unlike other pubs, though. They all charge more for wine, offer you dodgy looking beers, and serve funny shaped burgers. You will find no Walker’s crisps or pints of Fosters in these pubs, oh no. Kennington pubs are very well to do. They are gastropubs.
Ah the gastropub… how do I summarise my feelings on the issue. Well the food is definitely a step up from your average pub grub, and the surroundings aren’t too shabby. You do have to contend with bullshit tongue in cheek statements like presenting the cutlery in a shabby chic mug but I can look past that when I’m in a patient mood.
The Ship is one of many flouncy pants pubs in Kennington. But it isn’t all minor irritation and floppy hair at the Ship. It is in fact a very nice pub. There’s a big open bar in the centre and the place is decorated nicely with blackboards and the like. There’s a ‘pub garden’, if you can call a bigger bit of pavement a garden), and of a summer evening ‘tis a pleasant drinking hole (if it’s payday – if not run for your lives).
The menu is oh so gastropub. They serve swordfish and quail and all manner of unlikely farmyard animals. They’ve also got the proper pub grub too, fish n’ chips, burgers and steaks. I was hungover on my visit, so ordered the burger. We also tried fish n’ chips and the seafood linguine.
The burger was brilliant. Huge, topped with bacon and stilton and funny shaped so presumably home made. I stopped trusting the Ship on this matter mid-meal, but more on that later. The chips were sadly not proper chips though, they were *gasp* from-a-packet… Fish n’ chips offered no cause for complaint (except the below average chips) – we much enjoyed the Moby Dick sized piece of fish in crunchy crispy batter. Greasy greatness. Seafood linguine was not bad either, plenty of seafood swimming about in the pasta. All good. But then my faith in the Ship was tarnished…
The Ship pretend that all their food is sourced locally. They’ve even gone to the trouble of plastering this on the side of their lovely green paintwork. This is, I’m afraid to say, a lie. Unless you count ‘sourced locally’ as ‘sourced from the local Tesco’s’ in which case it is a fair claim. I know this to be a lie as during my meal I witnessed a van delivering foodstuffs to the Ship pub. This van hadn’t come from the local farmers market. In this van I saw… to my horror… a giant great big tin of mushy peas! It’s true, this gastropub doesn’t even mush its own peas.
Gluten Free? A handful of gluten free dishes, but mostly standard pub options.
The Verdict: Good food, but a bit half hearted. Please make own chips and mush own peas in future. I can open tins at home. Burgers are excellent, though.
171 Kennington Road