This weeks quest sees us return to Ealing, the old stomping ground of BestSundayRoast blogger John and, given this was the third weekend in a row Andy and Asami had been there, possibly their new home. Acton’s loss is Ealing’s gain and all that. And joining us on this quest are Andy and Asami, Nate and Anya and baby Lev, and Darren.
The Haven Arms, according to their website is ”a wonderful local Ealing pub steeped in history. First built in 1861, The Haven Arms suffered a great fire and had to be rebuilt again around 1873. The pub has been used for many important community gatherings including inquests and trials; a mural of a famous local inquest still adorns the wall and is over 100 years old. We took the reins of The Haven Arms on the 12th May 2008 and have gradually updated it without losing any of its charm, seeing as that is what brought us here in the first place. The Haven Arms offers great food which is locally sourced, prepared and cooked fresh for you by professional chefs on the premises. We are now renowned for our Sunday lunch with favourites, roast medium rare sirloin and half a corn fed chicken with all the trimmings taking centre stage. Dining can be enjoyed in the restaurant, the pub or alfresco in our hidden courtyard.”
This does seem awesome and we were very excited until we continued reading and, for the bum’s rush:
“We show every major sporting event with three large screens…”
Ah well, you can’t have everything.
So to the menu. Well, there isn’t one. The website is pretty basic and doesn’t tell anyone what they really want to know. We can’t play the game, there are hardly any pictures, but the roast is referenced thusly – “Sunday - The Best Sunday Lunch with wonderful starters, mains and homely puddings. Favourites include rare roast sirloin, slow roast belly of pork or half roast stuffed chicken with all the trimmings. all cooked from scratch by our professional chefs.” Sounds good, no?
Well they have a facebook page, according to the site and I went there looking for pictures of the food but alas, it was full of snaps of drunkard crowds, mostly watching football.
What our brother and sister sites said
Visited by John at BestSundayRoast (include link) September 4, 2011
The potatoes were a bit dry and veg selection seemed inconsistent, but as a whole meal it was good as demonstrated by my near empty plate. I loved the quality and cut of my meat, and the flavour was the tastiest I’ve had in a while. After tasting the chicken I was glad the pork had run out! We found the long wait tiresome, and while we take busy times into consideration we noticed that the chalkboard recommended to book tables at weekends as they get busy, so they do expect it and so could be better prepared. It would be interesting to visit again to see if the service is usually a bit slow or if there was a reason for it, but I would definitely recommend the chicken if you’re ever visiting. And if you have room try the cheese board for me, I was tempted but didn’t have space!
So in a nutshell: bad service but good food when it finally arrives.
What others are saying
Disclaimer. The views hereafter are not representative of the Quest for a Sunday Roast or any member of the Quest team
“A real find. An unpretentious pub with pool table & sport on TV, but also with an excellent restaurant. Sundy roast is particularly good. The staff are very welcoming, and it seems genuine.” http://www.qype.co.uk “Nice pub. It’s got a good location down a lane off the corner of Haven Green. Still quite authentic inside, with lots of etched glass, mirrors, and knick-knacks on the walls. Fullers pub, as most are around Ealing. Very neighbourhood-y.” http://www.qype.co.uk “Great local pub with probably the best honest food. Real fire, pub Dalmatian running around. Well worth a visit.” http://www.allinlondon.co.uk “Very cosy and quiet (lunch time)I ordered fish and chips, no fish.My husband ordered sausages and mash, no mash.Ok we are very adaptable.They want to give the impression that food is home made but as soon as you taste it you realise it’s sub-standard and microwaved.finally,both our coffees were cold and my cake was dried up and the cream inside was rancid I had to spit it out!All of which was served by a waitress with little or no training in food and beverage.Maybe OK for a drink, but if you get hungry whilst there get a bag of crisps.” http://www.allinlondon.co.uk
Again – bad service, and okay food when it arrives.
Okay, so I arrived at noon and was the only person there. Still, the TV was on mute, the staff were very friendly and all seemed to be good. The bar is a little grotty looking, other than the newly painted and clean toilets, and it does not stand up to the Duck Egg blue gastro efforts of SW London.
Had a pint of Lightfoot, which was nice, and took a table outside in the sun. And this highlighted the versatility of the place to me, there is a dingy corner for the football fans to watch the game, there is a pool table, there is a dining area, and then the outdoor space, and to be honest, none of those areas need to really impinge on the enjoyment of the others.
(From left to right – Parfait – all)
(From left to right – Roast beef – Anya and Asami, Roast lamb rump – Nate and Andy, roast chicken Darren)
(From left to right – STP Nate, Anya and Andy – Cheese plate – Darren and Asami)
Observations (Collective and Individual)
- Polite staff greeted me. TV was on but silent. Space outside to enjoy the sun. Food smelled good. £3.40. Pint of lightfoot. All good so far.
- Child’s roast beef on menu. Which is good.
- So far this is my favorite pub experience for a Sunday roast, Nate, I asked the guy for his opinion and he went on about all the things he liked on the menu up to the point he made himself hungry
- Really tasty parfait but nowhere near enough bread. Was very nice. – Darren
- Vegetables nicely done – Nate
- Nate asked if they knew we were blogging as the service was so good
- Lamb was spot on – Andy
- Doneness is spot on – Nate. Not sure is doneness is a word, if it is not then is should be.
- Perfect roasts – Darren
- Yorkshire does yield to the fork – Darren
- I hate meat on the bone but the chicken is awesome – Darren
- Ate so much so quickly I have indigestion already – Darren but I want dessert
- Roast potato’s were perfect – Andy
- Veggies were really nice – Asami
- Carrots tasted good – Asami
- Yorkshire pudding yielded to the fork – magic stuff !! – Andy
- Chicken parfait was really nice !!- Andy
- I’m happy – Andy
- Very relaxed Sunday lunch – great food, great staff, enthusiastic and attentive – Darren
- Great relaxing atmosphere. Very attentive service. – Anya
- Traditional menu, but everything was perfectly cooked. My roast beef was succulent and delicious. Just the right crispiness on the potatoes, crunchy vegetables. – Anya
- £23 a head. Really cheap for 3 courses and two rounds of drink – Darren
I don’t know, maybe I went to a different Haven Arms in Ealing to some of the other reviewers because I thought the staff were exemplary. The food was wonderful and exceedingly affordable to boot. There were TVs around but they were not on, despite the Liverpool Newcastle game being on. There was a bunch of lads playing pool, but unless you went through the pool table area to the loos you wouldn’t have noticed they were there.
I did want to score a little lower than normal, mainly because the others were scoring so high. Everyone loved their food, everyone loved the table, the sun, the service. So why not, eh? I didn’t go crazy loco on the ambiance score because the interior of the pub is pretty grotty. The outdoor space isn’t the cleanest either. The toilets had clearly been redone recently, and the service and relaxed atmosphere on a leisurely Sunday was ideal. 10 thumbs up from all involved.
Would we do back? Abso-fricking-lutely! This was a very, very good quest. Well done to all at the Haven Arms, Ealing.