Historical version 25 of Prince Of Wales, SW19 3BP
- 020 8542 0573
- 98 Morden Road, SW19 3BP
- 11am-11pm Mon-Thu; 11am-midnight Fri; 11am-11pm Sat; 11am-10.30pm Sun
Note: the visit described below was under a management team that departed in October 2011, so some details may no longer be relevant.
The front part wraps closely around the bar, with high tables as well as some normal chairs and tables. Further back is a restaurant area with a patterned carpet, flock-style wallpaper, a hatstand, mirrors on the walls, and windows looking out onto the beer garden. A mantel clock sits on a mantelpiece, below a large print of a 1920s photo of the very same room.
On our July 2010 visit the tables in the back area were set with cutlery and tablemats, though it seemed to be acceptable to sit there just for a drink. A sign on the wall noted that "well-behaved children" would be welcome until 8:30pm, and there were a couple of highchairs stacked in a corner (more info on child-friendliness is on their website).
The beer garden itself has barbecue facilities and actual real live chickens wandering around (which, as pointed out by an advert on the till, supply at least some of the eggs used in the food). According to the publican, following the refurb the garden also has "a new hard-standing smokers hut".
Kake, bob, and elvum visited on a Thursday evening in July 2010. Real ales available were Sambrooks Wandle (£2.97/pint), Young's Special, and Young's ordinary. bob thought the Special was very drinkable.
We also tried the food, mostly ordering from their tapas menu photo of the tapas menu as of July 2010. One welcome touch was that free bread, olives, and oil/vinegar dip were unexpectedly provided, arriving very quickly after ordering. (The bread was just bog-standard baguette, but it was a nice thought).
Chicken and serrano ham croquetas (£2.50) photo were OK for the price, though the breadcrumbing was slightly reminiscent of Findus crispy pancake, and the filling had made a good attempt at escaping from a couple of them (one was almost empty inside). Cod piquillo (sweet peppers stuffed with a creamy cod sauce; £2.50) photo had similarly disturbing breadcrumbing, and were a little over-greasy. Calamares (£3) photo were also a little greasy, though at least they weren't overcooked.
Chorizo in red wine sauce (£3) photo had too high a vegetable:chorizo ratio for bob's taste, though Kake liked this. We both agreed that we'd have preferred more of a red wine flavour. Albondigas (meatballs in tomato sauce; £3.25) photo had a good, coarse texture and plenty of sauce.
Patatas bravas (£3.25) photo were a little watery (see below). Ejotes (sweet green beans with garlic; £3) photo were better, with a nicely-judged texture and not too much sweetness. Fried aubergine (£3) photo was a little bland. Chickpeas with spinach (£2.50) photo had been over-fried, and were a little hard; the spinach might also have been better integrated into the dish if it had been cooked.
elvum eschewed tapas and went for the steak. This sadly did not arrive rare as requested, but to make up for this, the staff gave a 20% rebate on the cost. It came with onion rings (and possibly vegetables?) and chips. We'd been eagerly anticipating the chips, since they were advertised as being triple-cooked, but unfortunately like the patatas bravas they were made from what appeared to be waxy rather than floury potatoes, and so were rather too watery to work well.
Service was perfectly friendly, though we did note that the staff seemed to have been instructed to come round and parrot "Is everything all right?" a couple of minutes after delivering food, which felt a bit out of place in a pub (and also rather silly on the third iteration).
As of November 2009, food was served noon-2.30pm and 6pm-9pm Mon-Fri, and noon-2:30pm Sat-Sun, but we're not sure if these are still the current hours.
Accessibility: Three steps up to get in, though there's a handrail on one side. Step-free to the bar, seating area, and toilets once you're in. Steps down to get to the beer garden. There's also sometimes access to the garden through the carpark, but that also involves at least one step, and you'd then need to go up steps to get to the bar and toilets.