Good food and a satisfying drink at The Fentiman Arms
As London boroughs go Oval is not, by and large, the liveliest. With the Oval cricket ground the central attraction this relatively central London district certainly doesn't seem, on first glance, to offer much promise to the hungry traveller.
However, give it a few minutes - I'd say approximately five minutes actually, if you arrive by tube - because the short walk to The Fentiman Arms could just change your mind.
This bright, well furnished pub situated down Fentiman Road, a quiet residential road not far from the station, has a friendly atmosphere and a good selection of food and drink.
Inside, I found the pub strikes a well balanced mix with new decor which incorporates well revamped pieces of antique furniture. The main room of the pub has a spacious feel with big windows looking out along each side giving it good natural light during the daytime.
Though the menu could offer a slightly broader range of dishes, what it does it does well. Both the lunchtime and evening menus balance traditional pub fare - sandwiches, steak and sticky toffee pudding - with more upmarket combinations such as the Guinea Fowl Supreme and Beef Carpaccio.
Personally I went for the Toulouse Sausages with puy lentils, purple carrot and jus, a combination I'd never tried before. Needless to say I wasn't disappointed and the meal is something I have attempted myself since.
Thinking in terms of cost, the price of a main meal roughly ranges from £7 - £16 and the lunchtime dishes are roughly between £5 - £9. The food isn't 'cheap as chips' but the quality meant I wouldn't say I felt short changed by it.
When it comes to the drink I feel I can be as complimentary about the offerings. In fact, perhaps more so as my father - a professional brewer - has decided to take on the pub as his official 'local' when he comes down to London to visit me. If a pub can please my father it is a very good sign.
From the atmosphere to the quality of the food and drink The Fentiman Arms is certainly a present surprise in an otherwise relatively quiet area of the woods.