Birthday Lunch, The Drapers Arms, Islington
- Restaurant: The Drapers Arms
- Cuisine: English
- Location: Islington, North London
- The bill: NA here but varies by day! Weekend mains can be anything between £12-£40.
- Value for money: NA
- Service: 6.5/10
- Ambiance: 8.5/10
- Food: 8/10
- Jelly Good Food Rating: 8/10
For my birthday lunch with friends, I wanted to go to a gastropub that was quirky, casual, not crazy expensive, somewhere that would have a table for 8 during Easter bank holiday weekend, is close to where we live and also in both the Michelin Guide and the Good Food guide…I don’t ask for much really. After some research The Drapers Arms in Islington became the venue of choice.
Beetroot, barley risotto, creme fraiche
Fore-ribs of Beef with seasonal vegetables and yorkshires for 2-3 to Share x2
Buttermilk and Rhubarb pudding
Wigmore, oat cookies, apple & pear chutney
Apple crumble, cream
We had a table upstairs in the dining room and my crowd all liked it here. The feel was suitably quaint and pub-like, not pretentious or try hard yet Carpenters Arms maintained a good level of cooking. The tables filled up with trendy, young diners and I have to say that as the wine kept flowing the dining room got really buzzy and noisy, which was fun, though by the time dessert arrived you had to raise your voice to talk to the person across from you.
J and I ordered beef fore-ribs to share – and it arrived looking really impressive, well at least in terms of size – I have never seen such a big slab of beef served before, a portion fit for a giant. Friends A and A ordered the same. Between our end of the table we probably had half a cow. Our cut however came out somewhat fatty – still nice and rare in places so was ok to trim around – but definitely what you would call a rustic dish. Not enough horseradish – probably about 2 teaspoons of the stuff were provided to share for the table, when I requested more, they seemed somewhat stingy with it. Huge jug of gravy though.
Apple crumble was the best I have tasted for some time and I would highly recommend it – large sweet bits of crumble and apple – again I think any giant would be happy with it.
Service was mostly good, lovely waitresses, but perhaps too many diners for them to handle and we had to dock some Jelly points because they refused to sort us out with a birthday cake. When J called up to pre-arrange the week before they said they didn’t have the resource and the best they could do was stick a candle into one of the desserts, which J did settle for, however this never arrived…
I should also perhaps mention that there weren’t too many veggie choices on the menu – no prissy food here – just a lot of good hearty cooking with a some interesting twists.
Jellygoodfood Bottom Line:
Crowd pleaser – good for a big group, uncompromising on quality of food, interesting choices served in giant proportions, very rustic and relaxing. Happy times.