Friday 2 May 2008

Prince Regent, Dulwich Road, Herne Hill

Opposite Brockwell Park and stranded half way between Brixton and Herne Hill, the Prince Regent is an inviting Victorian pub, which draws in a sizable contingent of drinkers and diners. It has outside tables, in the shadow of two stocky Victorian lampposts, large windows, a cosy, wood-panelled bar adjacent to a dining room with an array of big, sturdy wooden tables. The laid-back atmosphere is accentuated by the funky music, the window shelves lined with well-thumbed books and the occasional punters playing Jenga. On draught is the innocuous Black Sheep plus a guest beer and a handful of well-known lagers, such as San Miguel, Carling and Staropramen.

The Prince Regent is renown for its brunch menu, featuring a range of hot breakfasts, including kedgeree and the traditional English fry-up. For lunch or dinner, several dishes can be ordered as starters or main courses, including impressive salmon fish cakes, which are hidden under a forest of lettuce and surrounded by a delicious celeriac remoulade dressing. The starter version, which comes with just one fish cake, costs about a fiver. But a side order of fat chips, about the size of a man's forefinger, costing a hefty £3.50, can be disappointingly small, under-cooked and rather salty. Scrawled across the blackboard is a clutch of gastropub-style specials, such as rump of lamb or braised rabbit, costing a tenner upwards. The beer is also a bit pricey, suggesting the Prince Regent's success may be going to his head. 7/10