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Dartmouth Arms gets write up in Metro

Author Message
Craig
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 03 February, 2005 - 04:52 pm:   

D.A have a write up in the metro, it wasn't the best one I've seen, they weren't impressed with some of the food, must admit have eaten there a few times the food is ok but nothing to shout about, they are basically charging much the same as Palmerston but my vote always goes to Palmerston, sorry I do like the Dartmouth Arms but the prices are too steep for the quality of food. Sorry if you don't agree
Adam
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 03 February, 2005 - 05:14 pm:   

Is it possible to have the whole write up added to the forum as text? didn't see Metro today to comment. Two bad articles in one week? surely not! We must have really upset the world of journalism.
ToffeeJim
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 03 February, 2005 - 05:15 pm:   

I think the quality of food there's actually pretty good but the enjoyment can be rather tempered by lengthy waits and ingredients running out too quickly leading to dishes being taken off.

Personally I don't read the Metro as I reckon that come the revolution Metro readers will be the first against the wall (and no arguments please you guys know it too). But my curiosity is up. What did the article say about the big issue: the criminal removal of the bar-billiards table from said boozer?
craig
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 03 February, 2005 - 05:29 pm:   

Right Adam this for you!

Gastropubs

Why aren't there more decent gastropubs south of the river? I used to worry that I was biased against the Sarfside - don't tell me you dn't take riversides everyone does - but the michelin pub guide claims there are few estimable gastros in South London. There's the Anchor and Hope in SE1, obviously, the Garrison and the Hartley in SE1, the Greyhound in SW1, the Palmerston in SE22 and the Freemasons in SW18. The Dartmouth Arms used to be a filthy place, but since being taken over last September by two sleeping partners in some name ventures (Livebait, REal Greek) it has changed. The place is plain and avoids gastro clinches with futuristic light fittings and odd wall papered in a teacup motif. the wine list offered easy drinking from France and the southern hemisphere at lower prices. The manger recommended a Borie de Maurel Espirit d'Automne 2003, firm, well textured, jammy a good choice. There are two well kept ales (Bombadier and London pride) and Kronenburg Blanc, a light french wheat beer.

White bean soup with fennel, roast garlice and pesto was an odd mix of flavours, The fennel tasted like pickled cabbage, the beans had been pureed to a gritty texture and the garlic was bitter. Cute dolly sized lamb souvlaki was hard, dry and lukewarm - good spicing was no enough. More homemade foccacia was requested a hit there, then.

Southern France did not come to mind at all with the bouillabaisse . Instead of a sparkling borht of herbs, spices, fish, tomato and live oil there was a dark, salty, over boiled slurry with overcooked crayfish, a hard lump of salmonand two bland mussels. why mess with a classic by adding cavalo nero leaves and leaving out the little toasts gruyere and aioli? what wasn't wrong with this dish? It was bizarre and very bad cooking. Two orders of featherblade beef (a tough shouler cut with lots of flavour) went down very well, though "not Pierre Koffman's daube of beef at Tante Claire" said P but the fact that I thought of that is its own compliment.

A shared chocolate pot with some pleasantly chewy but anachronistic wafer was ok. Someone here needs to wake up if they want the Darmouth to join the South's tiny Premier League.

Sorry for typos!!!
Adam
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 03 February, 2005 - 05:44 pm:   

Thanks Craig! Diamond!

I haven't actually been into the DA since it was done up, but it looks a total different place from the outside (makes mental note to visit soon)

Perhaps I will do the same as Metro and be a mistry shopper, with my views being written not for 600,000 travellers but the readers of se23.com, Baggy Dave can do my historic pub write up part of the article!

watch this space!
Newman
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 04 February, 2005 - 09:12 am:   

...I used to worry that I was biased against the Sarfside...Oh dear, another dimwit journalist who probably lives in the trendy bit of East London and thinks nothing of trotting out the usual S. London stereotypes, presumably derived from watching one too many episodes of Only Fools & Horses. Could you imagine this sadsack starting an article along the lines of 'I used to worry that I was racist...' Thought not. There's a long list of people that are off limits, but for some reason, South Londoners have always been and continue to be an OK target for sweeping generalisations.
Mrs H
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 04 February, 2005 - 09:18 am:   

Did you get out of bed the wrong side this morning?
Newman
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 04 February, 2005 - 09:39 am:   

Is it that obvious, Mrs H? Firstly, I overslept, meaning that I didn't have time for a shower or breakfast. Then I was faced with the usual nonsense at the train station...Not to mention having to wade my way through several muggers, drug dealers and annoying school children. Anyhow, enough of my problems. Must go and do some work.
Joan
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 04 February, 2005 - 10:48 am:   

Toffee Jim I must agree with you the foods ok but I do get frustated by the length of wait for service, perhaps they should employ more staff in the restaurant!
Michael Richards
Joined N/A
Posted on Monday, 07 February, 2005 - 07:28 pm:   

It wasn't a great review and to be honest we deserved it. That soup was horrible but withdrawn almost immediately. Our bad luck that the reviewer got it. Nevertheless, it was an indication of a bigger problem. We too became frustrated with the inefficiency in the kitchen and so have now changed our kitchen team. Already things are much, much better and faster but there will be even better things happening in the coming weeks so please don't give up on us yet.
Adam (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Monday, 07 February, 2005 - 07:57 pm:   

Dave am I going to do the food write up of the DA and u do the beer write up?

Mistry shoppers of the world unite!
jimmyboy (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Tuesday, 08 February, 2005 - 10:21 am:   

I have eaten on a number of occasions at The Dartmouth and have always really enjoyed it.
I'm sure all places suffer from time to time with a bad review, but that hasn't been my experience so I'll continue to support a local bar restaurant that I enjoy.
Ms Marcos (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Tuesday, 08 February, 2005 - 11:22 am:   

I dined at the Dartmouth Arms shortly after it opened last year. My gripe then was not so much with the food (alright), but with the loud music and the acoustics that sent it into Leicester Square Blockbuster levels. Mr Marcos tends to mumble after a couple of your fine ales, and so the evening did not quite turn into the romantic tete-a-tete I had planned. We have been back since, but only to the pub section, where the decibel levels donít hi-jack Mr Mís grumblings too much. Michael, please remember - there is a huge pool of people in our neighbourhood who want to see an establishment like yours succeed. (Mr Marcos and I are tired of taking the bus up the hill with the hoi-polloi after a night of fine dining at Franklinís). If you make the effort to improve the Arms then Mr Marcos and I will certainly give you every chance to get it right. Oh yes, if you could also put St Peterís Organic Ale on the pump, pleaseÖ
Rob (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Tuesday, 08 February, 2005 - 11:25 am:   

For those who haven't eaten at the DA, I'd urge you to go. It's a really nice place and a very welcome addition to SE23.

I do think there are a few elements that could be improved, including not all food arriving together, which has happened to me twice, and a few other service niggles such as not always feeling like they value the customer as much as they should.

However, on the whole the food is great and the staff are really nice.
BaggyDave (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Tuesday, 08 February, 2005 - 12:23 pm:   

Dartmouth Arms

I remember that pub. For a while it was down to earth, with a good mix of clientelle, decent beer (at a decent price) and the only bar billiards table in SE23. Held a fund rasing concert there in 2001. Then it all went downhill to the extent that it wasn't even worth watching the footy there. So much as I hate loosing traditional boozers, most of them don't appear worth saving inb our area. Michael you may wish to see some of the debate about the DA on the infamous Moor Park Tavern thread (a pub that doesn't serve beer let alone food).

And Michael it must have been devastating to have Michael Winner/ Victor Lewis Smith visiting and then to write up his review on SE23.com. But I am flattered to be asked to do a mystery shop of your beer. I'll report back soon.

And on Gastro pubs the latest TV chef Roxy Beaujolais owns the Seven Stars, close to the Royal Courts of Justice (sorry North of the River), but you will have to go a long way to beat her DA, when she served me a pint in a 3/4 pint glass (the ones they use for soft drinks nowadays).
Newman (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Tuesday, 08 February, 2005 - 01:06 pm:   

Dave, I dread to think what your review of the DA will be like. Perhaps along the lines of...The choice of veggie beers was disgraceful. And as for the music policy, have these people never heard of the Forest Hillbillies, Linda Barker's rucksack and Dumpy's Rusty Nuts? The only highlight of the evening was that I was able to make it back to the posh estate for tea and scones and a game of badminton with my showbiz friends (one of which will soon be appearing in Eastenders - or did I already mention that?)
BaggyDave (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Tuesday, 08 February, 2005 - 02:14 pm:   

Heh don't knock East Enders, although only a casual viewer I sense my vicar mate will soon be making an appearance in the plot of how to get rid of Dirty Den (well I assume that anyway)

And as a casual supporter of Camra I have actually been involved in pub reviews

And as a casual biker (or ex one) I saw Dumpys at Ox Poly sometime in a previous decade.

Here's two new threads - "three things you didn't know about baggy Dave", and "Newman's have a go at Dave" (we seem to have lost TJ).
ToffeeJim (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Tuesday, 08 February, 2005 - 02:15 pm:   

The Dartmouth Arms has never had particularly good beer. In the old days it was Courage which rarely rises above indifferent and I don't remember it doing so there.

I haven't tried any of the beer since Michael took over but the ale on tap didn't look especially inspiring. Excellent idea from Mrs Marcos though. Bringing in a beer like St.Peters would make the place a destination pub. I've joined different sets of folk before to make the pilgrimage across to Clerkenwell to the Jerusalem Tavern. Even better would be putting on the world's best beer Harvey's of Lewis. They have a couple of outlets in London Bridge so I'm sure could easily make a regular delivery on the way up from Sussex.

Hmmm...still no feedback on the bar-billiards table. Own up Michael, you're using it as a preparation surface for your bruschetta aren't you?
BaggyDave (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Tuesday, 08 February, 2005 - 04:00 pm:   

Heh don't knock East Enders, although only a casual viewer I sense my vicar mate will soon be making an appearance in the plot of how to get rid of Dirty Den (well I assume that anyway)

And as a casual supporter of Camra I have actually been involved in pub reviews

And as a casual biker (or ex one) I saw Dumpys at Ox Poly sometime in a previous decade.

Here's two new threads - "three things you didn't know about baggy Dave", and "Newman's have a go at Dave" (we seem to have lost TJ).
Debbie (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Tuesday, 08 February, 2005 - 04:17 pm:   

I really like the DA - the atmosphere is warm and friendly and if I want to meet up with female friends we are always welcomed and feel totally at ease - unlike some other local establishments! I think the food is fab too.
Emma Pike (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Tuesday, 08 February, 2005 - 05:50 pm:   

I really enjoyed the Dartmouth Arms the three times I have eaten and drunk there. I feel the place gives an idea of privacy and people are not 'in your face'. The food has been of a great standard there and the service has been impecible. I enjoy the art there and the fact that children are allowed in the restaurant at the back. I did not see the review in the Metro but feel from what I have heard that it was caught on a unfortunate day. I hope that the D.A. is the first of many such establishments in Forest Hill. New owners should be given 'a go'especially in a 'not so good' area.
Michael Richards (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Wednesday, 09 February, 2005 - 07:44 pm:   

For balance, may I reprint the review of the Dartmouth Arms from the South London Press Friday January 21st which some of you may also have missed. This local reviewer ate from the same menu as the reviewer from the Metro just a few days earlier.

Which would you prefer - an old style boozer or a glitzy gastropub serving dishes such as Ďroast guinea-fowl with fondant potato and thyme jusí? Zoe Walker decides

The Dartmouth Arms pub has been at the heart of Forest Hill since the nineteenth century. Generations have drunk there (including my great grandfather, grandfather and father who over time all sampled a pint or two in the place ó just to make sure the stuff was drinkable you understand).
But times have changed, and last September the Dartmouth Arms was tumed into that strangest of 21st century beasts - a gastropub.
Thankfully the name of the pub remains intact but the front bar has been redecorated to provide a relaxed pub-cum-bar area. The floors of the back bar have been sanded and it has been kitted out as a restaurant with tables, chairs and an open plan kitchen, situated behind the old bar, which is still in place. Brunch and dinner menus are available and coffee and cakes are served during the day.
We arrived for dinner Thereís no need to book although for a Wednesday night the dining area was busier than Iíd expected so it seems word is spreading and things are taking off. Not surprising as its just up the road from Forest Hill station - and well placed for commuters who fancy a quick pint in a relaxed atmosphere on their way home from work or who just want to meet up with friends for a chat. Handy because if it gets too late to cook dinner you can get something to eat thatís going to taste better than pub fare and fill you up.
The atmosphere is pleasant and unfussy, the staff friendly, helpful and ready to advise on menu choices. We opted for crab, herb and porcini linguini (£6.5O) and grilled swordfish with chilled tomato, herbs and citrus and red wine dressing (£6.50) to start. As main courses we chose seared salmon with grilled leeks, olive mash and sauce vierge (£10.50) and roast guinea-fowl with braised baby gem, fondant potato and thyme jus (£12.25.) To drink we had a Kronenbourg (£2.80) and a bottle of mineral water for two (£2.50.) To finish we went for a chocolate pot - an orange chocolate mousse with almond biscuits - and a cappuccino (£1.60.) The bill came to £47.60 in total. A 10 per cent service charge was added which brought the final total to £52.36.
Portions were generous and filling and I was impressed by what seemed an obvious dedication to value for money - little touches made a difference like a very generous latte for a more than reasonable £1.60 and a bottle of mineral water that was more than enough for two with dinner for £2.50. Some places would hike up the prices on items like that - thankfully The Dartmouth Arms doesnít. Thereís a refreshing lack of pretension about the place - Iíd feel comfortable turning up in jeans or dropping in for a snack alone - and a three course meal with kids would also be a treat because the restaurant area is child fnendly
The owners are obviously keen on providing good food at reasonable prices. They've been open under six months and they're already more than delivering on that score. Itís early days, yet it seems to function just as well as a meeting point as an eating point. And although I still mourn for The Dartmouth Arms of old, maybe this gastro pub idea isnít such a bad one after all.
Adam (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Wednesday, 09 February, 2005 - 08:32 pm:   

Fantastic review from the SLP!

Well done! I will pay the revamped DA a visit both for the drink as well as what seems scrummy food! Watch this space!
hungryhippo (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Thursday, 10 February, 2005 - 11:30 am:   

Does anyone know the Website for the Dartmouth Arms
steve (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Thursday, 10 February, 2005 - 11:32 am:   

just type dartmouth arms into the search engine
Adam (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 10 February, 2005 - 11:33 am:   

http://www.dartmoutharms.com/

quite good site, with some of the history of the DA, along with the modern day, such as the current menus!
megan (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 10 February, 2005 - 04:58 pm:   

Michael, Can I ask have you thought about offering a roast dinner on a sunday, I really feel Forest Hill lacks places for a decent Sunday roast, the Old Bank in Honor Oak use to and it was packed (not saying your not as I am often in the DA on a Sunday and its rammed!)but I myself would like some choice for a roast rather than Question!
leo (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 10 February, 2005 - 09:49 pm:   

i'm new to se23. se23.com is a bit of an odd place. There are people moaning about place within spitting distance from each other. what goes on?
BaggyDave (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 10 February, 2005 - 10:11 pm:   

Well that's it then folks, if Toffee Jim drinks St Peters ale and knows of the Jerusalem Tavern there is no hope for my kind

Thank you SE23, I'm now off into the bottomless pit of self dispair.

Nice knowing you all
Adam (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 10 February, 2005 - 10:11 pm:   

Leo it's called banter, everyone loves everyone really*!


* subject to terms and conditions, ask for details

But on a more serious note, welcome to the area, how are you finding everything?
SeeforMiles (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 10 February, 2005 - 11:13 pm:   

I'll continue to support the Dartmouth Arms 'cos I've always enjoyed the food....just got one teensy request. Could you make the portions a bit bigger? Or at least include the vegetables in the main dish instead of having to order them on the side.
The DA is also great for lunches or just a coffee and cake. Been very impressed with the wine too so Michael, you definitely get my vote.
See for Miles (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 10 February, 2005 - 11:16 pm:   

Dear Toffee and Baggy,
have you been to the St Peter's Brewery in near Bungay in Suffolk? Marvellous place and a great restaurant too.
Seeformiles (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Thursday, 10 February, 2005 - 11:22 pm:   

Now I feel really greedy after seeing the South London press reviewer describe the portions as generous at the DA. Maybe I've just been unlucky. Anyway, as I say the quality of the food has been great each time I've been.
Keep up the good work.
ToffeeJim (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 11 February, 2005 - 10:33 am:   

SeeforMiles,

I haven't. Thanks for the tip. I'll add that on my list of beer pilgrimages along with Harvey's of Lewes.
Dave (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Friday, 11 February, 2005 - 07:09 pm:   

I popped into Dartmouth arms out of curiosity when it first re-opened, and was surprised to see how popular it was already, with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Since then we have had a couple of meals there with friends, and will certainly go back from time to time. I'm only too happy to have a little more choice in the area - we always seemed to be driving over to Dulwich or Crystal Palace before.
KK (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Monday, 14 February, 2005 - 01:36 pm:   

I've been a Darty regular since it opened and have never had a bad experience, the food is good, the staff are efficient and (unlike many gastropubs) very friendly - especially the new Canadian guy..... I think it's great that Michael logs onto this forum to gain feedback from the locals - and there have already been changes made due to customer comments.

I was there the day the guy from the Metro was and had a lovely meal and much fine wine (admittedly I didn't try the white bean soup).

Michael - well done to you & your team!
julianm (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Monday, 14 February, 2005 - 03:11 pm:   

As a Brighton resident now (well, Hove actually - the Honor Oak Park of the South Coast) I thoroughly endorse the sentiments about Harvey's of Lewes - truly God's own beer. Lots of Harvey's around here. Yums.
I like good food (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Saturday, 19 February, 2005 - 09:03 am:   

Not that I am knocking South London Press' review and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but........please note that the reviewer is NOT a restaurant critic, whereas the Metro Life critic is. That does make quite a bit of difference when talking about a so called 'gastro pub'. Compare the two reviews again and you will see - One describes the food and the other describes the price and the atmosphere.
I'm hope that since the shake up of kitchen staff the food has improved as I am very inclined to agree with the Metro Life.
So do I (Unregistered Guest)
Joined N/A
Posted on Sunday, 20 February, 2005 - 12:25 pm:   

I saw that Metro review pop up again in Friday's Metro Lite. It was somewhat re-edited and reads far more favourably. She even gives two stars for good so can't have had that bad a time. As a Darty regular I do appreciate value for money and atmosphere. I've also never been disappointed with the food.
Hils
Joined 05-04-2003
Posted on Friday, 01 July, 2005 - 09:55 pm:   

Just visited the Dartmouth Arms and the food has improved 100% since the arrival of the new chef. The portions are larger, the food is tastier. I could recommend the steak and chips and the chocolate pot - absolutely heavenly. Brilliant to have such a good restaurant at last in Forest Hill plus they do reduced prices Monday to Wednesday. Check it out.
Mrsmarcos
Joined 07-02-2005
Posted on Sunday, 03 July, 2005 - 12:12 pm:   

I agree, visited again recently and was hugely impressed by the improvement in the quality of the food, as well as the prices (13,95 for 2 courses on the monday night I visited), excellent value. I recommend the mackerel with grilled fennel as a starter especially, delicious, and the passion fruit creme brulee is haunting my dreams...
Michael
Joined 04-03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 04 October, 2006 - 12:44 pm:   

The owners of the Dartmouth Arms have taken over The Dolphin in Sydenham. See news at http://www.sydenham.org.uk/news_dolphin.html

It is good to see local traders who took a risk opening a gastropub in Forest Hill doing well and expanding into the neighbouring area.
Millesens
Joined 21-04-2006
Posted on Wednesday, 04 October, 2006 - 01:01 pm:   

Good news, thank you Michael. It is only a ten minutes walk from my house.The turkish restaurant on the other side offers very good food at reasonable prices. Now there is even more choice for an evening out in our local area!
Brian
Joined 18-04-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 04 October, 2006 - 02:11 pm:   

My God the regulars of the Dolphin are in for a cultural shock.
It is difficult to imagine two more diferent clientelle.
Dolphin back in 70's used to be a good honest boozer run by the landlady who was referred to as The Plain Lady . No prizes for guessing why .
I understand in the last 15 years or so fell on hard times. I would think twice about walking past let alone going in.
Good Luck Sydenham needs something . When you think of Pubs like The Man of Kent you despair.
Rob
Joined 23-01-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 04 October, 2006 - 02:36 pm:   

Yes, very best of luck to Michael and Violeta. The food and service have improved immeasurably since the Metro's review 18 months ago. The Dartmouth Arms is a fantastic pub and a real asset to Forest Hill. I'm sure that the Dolphin will be another success.
Seeformiles
Joined 09-04-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 04 October, 2006 - 06:21 pm:   

I like the sound of that Turkish restaurant...must give it a go.
Les
Joined 28-01-2004
Posted on Wednesday, 04 October, 2006 - 11:24 pm:   

I would like to add my voice to the supporters of the Dartmouth. I've eaten there several times, from a quick steak sandwich after work, to a proper father-in-law's-birthday-meal. He particularly likely the oxtail on that night. Anyway, the food has been excellent, the wine list good, and the London Pride in kept well.

I'm not a big fan of Kronenberg Blonde (seems like a obvious Hooegarten copy, but not as nice), but other no complaints.

The Dartmouth is a great asset to the area. (Also try the Herne Tavern by the way, in the interests of balance).
Baggydave
Joined 19-05-2004
Posted on Wednesday, 11 October, 2006 - 12:42 pm:   

Why all this interest in the Dartmouth Arms when you have the wonderful Capital so close? Lush intrerior, a wide mix of local residents, excellent choice of cheap real ales
and food that is a real bargain. Being a Wotherspoons pub you know what to expect. Perhaps the competition is why McDonalds closed down.
Suggest that the rest of you move to Clapham, Hoxton or wherever your spiritual homelands are.

PS once you have drunk Bavarian white beer why would you ever buy Hooegarten, Kronenberg Blonde etc
Hilltopgeneral
Joined 24-03-2004
Posted on Wednesday, 11 October, 2006 - 01:40 pm:   

Because few places stock it?

Or does The Capitol? That might tempt me in

Does Erdinger Weisse count? Not sure what Land it is from. Only seen it at The Grove.
Baggydave
Joined 19-05-2004
Posted on Wednesday, 11 October, 2006 - 03:42 pm:   

Erdinger Weisse - well done you are learning, but still need some nuturing


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