Compared to the hustle and bustle of nearby Green Park and Piccadilly, Shepherds Market is a little oasis of boutique restaurants, cafes and smart pubs, hidden inside Mayfair. It is a popular hangout for those post-work tipples but equally, the stylish restaurants give this location a touch of joie de vivre.
One of the pubs that we regularly visit in this area is The Market Tavern. We have been here on numerous occasions for a drink (or three). The pub is in a quiet corner of the street but always has people spilling over into the pavement with drinks in hand – a sign of good times. Upstairs, they have a more laid back dining area called The Chesterfield Room where you can have a cozy date or a casual catch up meal with friends.
Their old menu had the usual pub grub on offer – fish and chips/burgers/pies. So when Market Tavern recently announced that they have launched a new menu , we were intrigued. With the London food scene changing ever so rapidly, it is inevitable that gastropubs feel the need to catch up and smarten their menus to attract the foodies.
On closer inspection, the new menu at Market Tavern still has some of their classics. But there is a definite shift towards more modern dishes and using fresh produce.
We started with some Pan-fried King Prawns and Chorizo on Sourdough bread (£6.50).
The prawns were fresh and paired well with the spicy chorizo.The sourdough was fresh and warm. The spicy oil from the chorizo soaked into the crusty bread underneath, making it soft and flavourful. A simple but well-executed starter.
Husband ordered the Fried Squid in a Sesame dressing on a bed of kale salad and Asian-style slaw (£6.75). The squid was cooked to the right mount of crispy, and thankfully not rubbery or overcooked. The fresh flavours of the kale salad with the added nuttiness of the sesame made this an exciting plate of food.
For my main, I chose the Confit Duck leg with Beluga Lentils, Cavolo Nero and Mash (£16). The duck was cooked well, crispy skin on the outside and moist on the inside. It came with a creamy mash which unfortunately , was slightly over seasoned. However, the beluga lentils added a luxurious spin to what could have been a somewhat lacklustre main.
Husband had the Grilled Pork Chop, Black Pudding Cake and Mushroom Sauce (£15.50). The pork chop was meaty and soft, with the creamy, silky mushroom sauce underpinning the whole dish. However, it was the black pudding cake that was the real star of the dish. Bits of it was chunky, bits of it smooth, adding texture and depth to the dish.
Everything was served with dollops of fun and friendly service.
Market Tavern’s new menu is brave and is a conscious attempt to break away from the typical pub food. It is definitely a step in the right direction. My only feedback would be to have a bit more faith and remove the old dishes completely, so you can take the new menu ideas all the way rather than playing it safe.
More information can be found here
N.B. All opinions and views expressed in this blog are my own. The photographs used have been taken by me and my partner (credited wherever applicable). I review anonymously and pay for my meals. The total cost of this meal was discounted as we attended during the restaurant’s new menu launch period.