Lebanese Restaurant and Bar in St Johns Wood
Category : Bar, Restaurant
| Cuisine : Lebanese
Address : 24 Aberdeen Place, St Johns Wood, St. Johns Wood , London , NW8 8JR, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.crockersfolly.com
Opening Times : Sun-Thurs: 12pm - 11pm; Fri-Sat: 12pm-11.30pm. Closed Christmas Day 2017.
Closest Tube : Warwick Avenue, Maida Vale, St John’s Wood
There are pubs and then there are pubs like Crocker‘s Folly. Simply put, it‘s one of Britain‘s most beautiful. Launched in 1898 by local entrepreneur Frank Crocker, this high-Victorian gem reposes on the northern side of Regent‘s Canal in St John‘s Wood, and has recently come under the management of the Maroush Group who have made this public house the jewel in their tiara.
There are four different areas within Crocker‘s Folly, each one well suited to the needs of the modern sybarite. The dining room is beyond impressive, holding punches with some of the most opulent restaurants in London. There are over fifty types of marble used to create the aptly monikered Marble Room, which is where we recommend booking if possible. There‘s also the 1898 Bar, perfect for a refreshing libation, as well as the more intimate Lord‘s Dining Room and the Outdoor Terrace, where guests can take advantage of the elements when they are cooperative.
We visited on a Friday evening and were impressed by the buzzy atmosphere and the wide range of clientele enjoying themselves. We quickly followed suit with a brace of cocktails. A creamy espresso martini stimulated the senses, while caramel champagne (crafted with Ophir gin, yogurt liqueur, saffron syrup and egg white) was a luscious sharpener. By the time our first dishes began to arrive we had opened a bottle of Salentein Malbec, which proved to be an adept partner to many of the dishes.
Maroush has enlisted the talents of Marouf Abouzaki to helm the kitchen. His dedication to Lebanese flavour was put on display throughout every dish. We were smitten with the traditional hummus that arrived at the table, rendered light and almost ethereal with lashings of sesame paste and lemon juice. Baba ghanoush had a similar effect, the aubergine whipped into a state of buoyancy. We found these went well with the house kalaj, a baked Lebanese pastry impregnated with salty, rich halloumi.
For our mains we opted for king prawns. The outsized crustaceans were expertly fired on the grill and finished with a very piquant special sauce from the chef. We also enjoyed Kastaleta lamb prepared on the Josper, its flesh incredibly succulent. Pairing both with a tomato and onion salad and some rather good fries was a real joy. For a pub par excellence and a little different, Crocker‘s Folly is absolutely worth the journey to St John‘s Wood.