Posted on Wednesday, 22nd June 2016
Crockers Folly in St John’s Wood was a thriving pub in its former life. Built in 1898, the beautiful Grade II* listed building fell into disrepair and was closed in 2004. But in 2014 The Maroush Group took ownership of Crocker’s Folly and lovingly restored it. Crocker’s Folly now speaks of grandeur, but with a relaxed and inviting tone.
The revitalised Crocker’s Folly is divided into three sections – two separate bars and a dining room. It has been beautifully refurbished with bespoke features such as dazzling chandeliers, mahogany woodwork, the use of at least 50 kinds of marble and some gorgeous imported Italian furniture.
I visited Crocker’s Folly last year but that was only for the Sunday set menu. This time around I had the opportunity to try the a la carte menu, starting with the roasted octopus (£12) which was divinely tender and nicely cooked. It was served with a pappa al pomodoro sauce, a rich, intense concoction rich with tomato flavour.
Beef tartar and black truffles (£17) with chives, paprika, red onions and free range egg yolk was heavenly. The beef was sublimely tender, and with the truffles proved to be a delightful combination. It needed a touch more seasoning, and a little more acidity would have also been nice. But overall, it was an excellent starter, especially as it was such a generous portion.
We also tried the soy-marinated tuna wrapped in a potato crust with onion jam and olive tapenade (£13). This dish didn’t work. The flavour of the tuna was quite mellow, and the crust, consisting of mash potato did not provide enough of a contrast in flavour against the tuna. In all, this was quite a bland dish.
Pan-fried whole sea bass (£22), served with scarola, chopped tomatoes, fresh basil and black olives, and rosemary and thyme potatoes proved to be a really lovely dish. The cooking of the fish had been properly executed, resulting in a fish that was moist and with a crispy skin. The accompanying vegetables were fresh and had been treated with care on the plate. All the elements of the dish came together nicely.
American rib eye steak (250gm – £28), prepared on the josper grill, had been cooked to the requested medium rare and came out with a lovely charred flavour. The steak was tender, juicy and well seasoned, and there were some tasty potatoes and vegetables to go with it.
For dessert, we decided on the pistachio mousse mille-feuille (£6.50) with lavender cream. The mousse was lovely but had not set properly. Consequently the mille-feuille collapsed. The lavender cream was surprisingly light and therefore worked well with the pistachio flavour.
This was yet another very tasty and pleasant experience at Crocker’s Folly. The cooking was solid and executed with care, and all the dishes were prettily presented too. The restoration at Crocker’s Folly has done much to transform the gastropub, and it truly is a really nice place for a meal (or even just a drink).
1) The beef tartar – it needed a touch more seasoning but it was nevertheless delicious.
2) Overall the food was very good.
1) The tuna starter.
Food rating: 3.75/5
Service rating: 3.5/5
Average Price: £35 to £54 for three courses, excludes drinks and service.