What: The North Pole – craft beers and food
Where: 188-190 New North Road, London, N1 7BJ
When: 31st July 2012
Price: About a tenner for a main course, £3-20 per beer
Rating: Five stars for drinks, 3 stars for food
The North Pole is aptly named, for (as a south Londoner), it did feel a bit like it was in the middle of nowhere. A 10-15 min walk from either Old St or Angel tube stations, this is definitely an ideal place for locals. If you’re not local, there are buses – which is good, because the North Pole really is lovely.
It’s noted for its extensive list of beers, and it doesn’t disappoint. Craft beers from all over the world make up three A5 pages in the drinks menu – with some local lovelies (hello Meantime London Lager) and some not so local. I opted for the Belgian raspberry beer, which was sweet and refreshing, while my dining partner (The London Lad) went for London Fields Lager, which is citrus-y and ideal for the balmy evening. So far, so good.
For starters, we shared some haddock goujons with a tartare dip. I have to say, I thought the goujons were a little dry, but TLL loved them – particularly the dip. Unfortunately there were no pizzas on the day we went, so instead we opted for the rack of ribs with ribeye steak – a special dish for carnivore Tuesday – and a plain ribeye with rocket salad and chunky chips. TLL loved the ribs and steak. The ribs were delicious and fell right off the bone and the sauce was very good. My ribeye steak was beautiful and very flavoursome, though I thought it could have done with some black peppercorn sauce. The chips were crunchy but huge, and the salad was lovely (though TLL thought the parmesan was a bit of a weird addition).
As for puddings, I chose the Apple Crumble and TLL went for the Eton mess. I was disappointed by the crumble, which wasn’t sweet at all and tasted weirdly savoury. There was also very little actual crumble, and it was mostly just a (lovely enamel) bowl of mushy apples. The Eton mess was better, but there were no crunchy bits of meringue, which was a shame.
I finished the evening off with a delicious soft drink – the ‘Totally Minted’ flavour of Orchard Pig apple juice. It has pink grapefruit, mint, and lime and it was AMAZING. Highly recommend trying that if you find it!
We had a lovely evening at The North Pole – the atmosphere was lovely, the decor was gorgeous, and the service was absolutely brilliant. But I would say its real strength is its drinks list. Interestingly, they also do takeaways for the beer – which is definitely something I would try! I’d go back for a nice summer evening with nibbles.