We recently visited The White Swan for the launch of their new menu. Located in the City of London, they have completely refurbished the first floor dining room, resulting in a stylish and slick city-style boozer. I especially liked the use of mirrored ceilings which was a clever way to create an illusion of double height space.
The food is divided into classic pub grub, quality cuts of meat and catch-of-the-day. A lot of the food features game and, during the festive season, this comes recommended. The grouse and pheasant particularly stood out for us from the menu. The portions are fairly large so you don’t really need to order anything else.
However, for our specific evening we wanted to try a spectrum of dishes so went for something slightly different.
We ordered some house cocktails. Kris had the Old Fashioned (Bourbon, bitter, orange oil) whilst I tried the Mother’s Ruin (Fishers Gin, vermouth, lemon, grapefruit, champagne). At £5 a pop, it was decent, but we were not blown away.
We shared a couple of small bites. The Haggis Scotch Egg, Mint Sauce (£7.5) was lovely although I would have preferred a more vibrant-coloured yolk. The meat casing was soft, spicy and pleasing to the mouthful.
We went retro with a Half Pint of Prawns, Marie Rose sauce (£9). The prawns were substantial and had the fresh-from-the-sea taste. The Marie Rose sauce was absolutely divine and I licked up every last bit of it.
Our favourite from the small bites was undoubtedly the glorious Black Pudding Croquettes (7.5). They were rich, dense, gamey and hugely satisfying! I quite liked the rustic presentation as well.
For my main, I had the Middlewhite Pork, Garlic Mash (£14.5) which was quite a sumptuous hunk of pork, perched over the creamiest of garlic-smothered mash.
Kris had the Brixham Gurnard, Confit Fennel (£14.5), which was a delicate white fish, expertly crisped on top. The fennel was beautifully charred which softened its aniseedy flavours and added another dimension to the dish.
We also ordered some obscenely decadent Black Pudding Mac ‘N’ Cheese (£3.5) which was ultra drool-worthy.
Everything was beautifully washed down with a glass each of our favourite Pinot Noir.
Service was attentive and well-paced. Whilst not a destination restaurant as such, The White Swan is an elevated gastropub, offering classy food amidst refined settings. Some are innovative, some are textbook cooking. All in all, a crowd pleasing venue which would be great for an after-work date or a team lunch/dinner if you work in the City.
Location: The White Swan, 108 Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 1ES
More information can be found here.