Now you can pop down the gastropub around the globe
When David Eyre and Mike Belben took over The Eagle in Farringdon Road, London, 20 years ago, they unwittingly started the modern gastropub movement.
Their idea of serving simple Mediterranean dishes where once there were only nuts, crisps, and pork scratchings has been replicated and has evolved around the UK and the globe. Here's a few of the best.
Warren Geraghty, formerly of Vancouver's acclaimed West restaurant, is the latest in a long line of chefs from a fine-dining background to move into the world of gastropubs. His enticing menu at The Olde Bell, Hurley (01628 825881; theoldebell.co.uk), is partly created from produce grown in the pub's beautifully maintained kitchen garden and includes a starter of crisp home-brined corned beef, pickled beetroot and duck egg gribiche sauce.
In a sublimely unlikely piece of cross-cultural fusion, Bashamichi Taproom (00 81 45 264 4961; bairdbeer.com) serves small batch British-style seasonal ales, including Yabai Yabai! Strong Scotch Ale and Black Velvet Dark Lager with a Texas-style barbecue in the Kanagawa prefecture of Yokohama. Pitmaster Chuck Morrow uses local sakura Japanese cherry wood in a two-ton smoker imported from Mesquite, Texas, to make Japanese "Fat Boy" pork ribs and smoked beef brisket.
Liverpool-born Jayne Battle has fused British gastropub influences with modern Californian cooking at Jaynes Gastropub, San Diego (001 619 563 1011; jaynesgastropub.wordpress.com). Dishes served in the faux-pub interior, with its 19th-century window frames, ornate mirrors, black-and-white tiled floor and stuffed animals, might include Newcastle Ale-battered sea bass with sauteed fresh snap peas or bucatini al zucchini carbonara with pancetta and locally grown squash blossoms.
Hotel Lincoln, Melbourne (00 61 3 9347 4666; hotellincoln.com.au), dates back to 1854 but the pub's food offering is unmistakably modern gastropub. Former Rockpool chef Ross Beeley's daily changing menu in the art deco-style bar might include pork and fennel sausages with braised pearl barley, or grilled Eden sardines with smoky eggplant, fennel and green olives.
Beppe De Vito has transplanted the British boozer to the Far East at The Jackson Plan, Singapore (00 65 6866 1988; thejacksonplan.com), injecting some designer style along the way. The striking white cube of a bar gives way to a more traditional dining space decked out with traditional English antique wooden tables and chairs. Here, you can enjoy fisherman's pie, cider raised Berkshire pork cheek with black pudding, and Lancashire hotpot.
The French have also taken the British gastropub to their hearts. In Paris, close to the Arc de Triomphe, is the wood-panelled Sir Winston, (00 33 1 40 67 17 37; sirwinston.fr). The menu retains a decidedly French accent, however, and includes assiette de charcuterie (a plate of cured meats) and cabillaud rôti, pousses d'épinard et soja aux herbes fraîches (roast cod, with spinach and soy tart and fresh herbs).
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