Historical version 2 of Powderkeg, SW11 1TQ
- 020 7450 6457
- 147 St John's Hill, SW11 1TQ
- 4pm-11pm Mon-Thu; 4pm-midnight Fri; 10am-midnight Sat; 10am-11pm Sun
A bar area at the front leads back to a conservatory-style restaurant. Decor is lavish, and themed around the British Empire. Even in the bar area they provide table service for food and drinks; it's not clear whether one can order at the bar instead.
They have three handpumps for real ale, which on our September 2013 visit were offering Upham Sprinter, Rooster's Yorkshire Pale, and one other (all £4.20/pint). Pints came in handled jugs (we weren't asked if we'd prefer straight glasses). As mentioned above, they do table service for drinks, and when we asked what they had on cask, our waiter dashed off and brought back a tray of generously-sized tasters of all three ales.
Kake and bob visited on a Friday evening in September 2013. The bar area was pretty full already when we arrived around 6:30pm, though we managed to find a small table squeezed into a corner. There was also a fair bit of turnover, particularly in the outside seating at the front. Music was playing, a little too loud for our preference, but not as loud as it can get in this type of place.
We were told that there were no free tables in the restaurant until 9:30pm (which is perfectly reasonable, as it was a Friday evening and we hadn't booked). We decided to have some of their bar snacks photo of menu instead of waiting.
Salted almonds (£2.50) arrived in a teacup complete with saucer photo. The portion was generous, the almonds were fine, and the salting was well-judged.
Breaded haggis balls (£5) photo arrived hot and not at all greasy. They were a little bland, in that way haggis sometimes is, and the accompanying "whisky mustard mayonnaise" had very little whisky flavour, though the mustard made up for that.
Smoked fish platter with horseradish cream (£7.50) photo was fine, with reasonably-sized portions of smoked salmon, trout, and mackerel. The robustly-crusted sourdough bread provided was perhaps not the most appropriate accompaniment to the delicately-textured fish, but the horseradish cream was great, with plenty of grated fresh horseradish.
Baby pork sausages cooked in Worcester sauce (£4) photo were also fine, with a nice tang from the Worcester sauce. Thrice cooked chips (£3) photo were disappointing, though; the point of triple-cooking a chip is to make it crispy, while these were huge and soggy.
Our bill photo arrived neatly divided into drinks and food, and no service charge was added.
Accessibility: A large step to get in. No further steps once you're in, but on our visit the route to the toilets was cluttered with chairs, and there are a couple of 90-degree bends just as you go in. One of the cubicles in the ladies' is large and has a pull-down baby change table. Sinks in the ladies' are quite high up, and the soap dispensers are even higher up.