Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published December 17th 2013
The Best Meals at the Best Deals
Formerly The Slug & Lettuce, but the slug got hungry.
I like eating out at Indian, Italian, and Asian restaurants, but sometimes it is nice to have a bit of good old British comfort food. That means fish & chips, pie & mash, and all day breakfasts. And there is no better place to get these good old fashioned British staples than a good old traditional British pub.
Snuggly seating with a view of the street.
Waling into The Slug @ Wimbledon, however, was more like taking a trip across the continent. While the South African flag hangs from the ceiling, photographs and memorabilia decorate the walls. The majority of their drinks come from South Africa and Australia too. I'm not sure what the special connection is with these two countries is, but I think it is sports related. The Slug claims to be 'London's best sports pub', with seventeen big screens, showing 'all 15 super sporting events', including those not shown on UK TV.
I'm assuming seventeen is the number of televisions they have across the chain, since I only counted two sets on the ground floor (and I doubt another fifteen were hiding upstairs). I expect they are not exaggerating when they say they have the best coverage, because when my dad and I walked in, the pub was screening an old black and white football match. How many places can you think of that show archived matches as old school as that?
If you are not a sports fan, then don't be put off; unless it is a major event, the sound is muted, and there are plenty of area to sit where there is not a telly in sight.
Great meal deals
Dad and I chose such a place by the window, where we could take comfort in the fact that it was raining heavily outside, and we were nice and dry inside. Perusing the menu, we could see that The Slug offers outstanding value for money. There aren't many places that you can get an 8oz rump, 10oz gammon, or half a roast chicken for under ten quid.
There are several quirky signs pinned up.
If you are going for lunch, you can have a club sandwich, ciabatta, or wrap with drink for £5.45, share a platter, or choose something from their lighter range, where all the dishes are under five hundred calories.
What initially drew us in was the sign outside the front saying '2 meals for £8.45', but on the menu it turned out to be £9.45. When Dad enquired, they said they'd been meaning to change the sign, but hadn't got round to it. How hard is it to remove a sign?
Despite the extra pound, £9.45 for two dinners is excellent value. If you were buying just one, then it would be £7.25, so it definitely pays to bring a friend along. From the menu Dad chose steak & ale pie and I chose their award winning curry lover's pie.
It took a long time for Dad to make his order because there was a woman at the bar who had done nothing but complain since she arrived (two o'clock, and it was now seven thirty). You might think this a cause for concern, but her complaints were less a reflection on The Slug than on the fact that she'd had too much to drink and was trying to weasel her way into a free meal.
Dad returned with our drink and waiting number, which came in a funky jagermeister bottle. He was disappointed that they only served larger, and not what he calls 'proper beer', but he is actually one of the few people who actually like a strong pint of bitter.
Condiments were served in a mini rack.
Since it was a Monday night, the pub was not very busy, but we still had to wait at least about twenty minutes for our meals to arrive (given the name of the pub, maybe I shouldn't have been surprised). The staff might have been slow on speed, but the rest of their service was excellent. The woman serving us was friendly, chatty, and made sure to ask that we were happy.
Chicken curry pie with chips & peas
Dad was on his second pint before we got our food, but it was well worth the wait. My chicken curry pie came with the fluffiest chips you could imagine, and the curry sauce was delicious. I only wished there was more, as I had to resort to ketchup halfway through. I can also see why my pie filling was an award winner, although I did find the pastry too thick.
Steak & Ale Pie with Mash
Dad, on the other hand, thought the pastry on his pastry was lovely and light, and he was very pleased with the quality of the steak. Because of the low price, he was expecting gristly bits, but there was none in sight.
Syrup Sponge served with Custard
With a two-for-one deal on pudding, how could we say no? Together we decided on a syrup sponge and toffee apple crumble, which came to a total of £4.95.
Toffee Apple Crumble served with Custard
We enjoyed every mouthful and I still can't get over how good a value everything is. Aside from the food, they also have regular drink deals, such as nights when everything is £1.95. These usually coincide with parties, sporting events, and when a DJ is in the house.