Neglected Victorian coach house in the heart of West Dulwich is brought back to life
The locals of West Dulwich in South London who have been tightly crossing their fingers for East Dulwich's gentrification to spread a little bit of its magic westwards must be rubbing their hands with glee at the arrival of The Rosendale pub restaurant. East Dulwich, and particularly Lordship Lane, is already a south west London foodie haven where specialist shops sit cheek by jowl with restaurants and gastropubs. But finally it seems it's West Dulwich's turn with the team behind The Greyhound in Battersea moving into what had become a bit of a neglected boozer in the middle of a residential area.
Mark van der Goot has brought in Jules Watson, previously of Tom Etridge's The Farm in Fulham, as Restaurant Manager, leaving van der Goot free to move between The Rosendale and The Greyhound.
Not to mention leaving him time to expand his new brand of more mid-market pubs, of which there are currently two in Bromley – one in Sundridge Park and one in West Wickham. The old Rosendale pub is a 19th-century Victorian coach house with a restored Royal Doulton tiled façade, furnished inside with the original floorboards, deep leather banquette seating, crystal chandeliers, a hand-built oak wall and a wine wall.
A major refurbishment has opened up the space so that although there's a distinct restaurant area that seats up to 62, there's also a good view from there of the bar which seats 50 for drinks and the Bar & Grill menu. The whole feel is airy. Airy and fresh that is, The Rosendale having judiciously opened just two days before the smoking ban, so it smells faintly of newly polished floors rather than the lingering stench of cigarettes and alcohol. Not that they're turning their backs on the smokers completely though. Outside, when the rains cease, there's a vast, landscaped alfresco area.
The food is not dissimilar to the The Greyhound's. Head Chef Matthew Foxon was previously at The Greyhound for a year, before which he worked in South Africa, his birthplace. Both bread and butter are made in house, fish is smoked in house and an organic kitchen garden is being planted. Livestock comes from Upper Wilting Farm, Crowhurst, East Sussex, and is being raised on controlled diets such as apple pulp, barley cereal, beer and cider to develop distinct flavours.
Dishes include Woodland Pork Roulade with Tomato and Onion Chutney and Crouton; Rosendale Home-Smoked Eel with Apple Jelly and Anchovy Mayonnaise; mains of Dukka-Spiced Kezie Farm Ostrich Fillet with Beef Bobotie and Sautéed Sweet Potato; or Barbecued Monkfish Fillet with Squid Ink Tagliatelle, Mussels and Chickpea Puree; followed by Bread and Butter Pudding and Home-Dried Grapes with Clotted Cream Ice Cream; and Triple Chocolate Mousse with Rum-Poached Cherries and Praline Shortbread. Of course, as per The Greyhound, and as you'd expect given van der Goot's sommelier background, the wine's a huge draw.
More than 500 producers make up a list on which 20 wines are available by the glass in the restaurant and 10 in the bar. Two regularly changing real ales will be offered at all times too, which should keep any of the locals still pining for the old Rosendale days happy.
Where? | 65 Rosendale Road, West Dulwich, SE21, 020 8670 0812 therosendale.co.uk