Historical version 15 of Dispensary, E1 8EN
- 19a Leman Street, E1 8EN
- 11:30am-11pm Mon-Fri; closed Sat-Sun
Good Beer Guide pub in Whitechapel. Somewhat gastropubby, and indeed they have a separate restaurant on a mezzanine above the bar. Note that it's closed on weekends, like most City pubs.
Beer choices: some of us had Tea, others had Deuchars IPA. (Someone wrote "interesting selection of beer" on my notepad, but I don't know if this means there were other choices or what. There are also four illegible lines lower down — all I can make out is "Dark Star".) The drinks menu also had Aspall cider at £3/pint, but I didn't check if it was on.
The drinks menu is extensive, and includes wines priced between £12 and £50/bottle. Also seventeen (literally) different kinds of rum. You can even buy bottles of spirits "to be consumed on the premises or left in your allocated locker". Cocktails are £6.50 (photo of cocktail menu) (£7.50 for champagne cocktails, £4.50 for nonalcoholic cocktails).
We ate in the pub section, which has a different menu from the restaurant part. You can view the menu on their website — at the time of writing, it's up to date with the menu we saw in September 2007. On our visit, soup of the day (£4) was smoked haddock chowder; pie of the day (£8.50) was steak pie; fish of the day was lemon sole; and they also had lamb burger and peri peri chicken sandwich on as specials.
Sadly, they had run out of pie, so we couldn't test it. Those who ordered meaty things were slightly disappointed; we all seemed to be in agreement that the bread was really quite poor (comparisons were made to Tesco Value), while the burgers were considered a bit small, and Billy felt that his salt beef sandwich was rather undersupplied with beef for the cost (£8). The chips were generally approved of, though, and Kake was extremely happy with her vegetarian platter (photo) (£7.50). The fish is also quite likely worth a try; the menu states that it's bought fresh daily at [Billingsgate Market]?.
Elvum noted that the restaurant menu looked much more interesting than the pub one, and felt it was a shame that they felt the need to make this split between bar food and restaurant food (possibly a chef/kitchen/staffing issue?)
Accessibility: toilets are down a narrowish staircase with three bends and a non-continuous handrail.