1 New River Avenue
Hornsey, N8 7QD
Tel: 020 8340 0400
The Victims: Al, Louise
The Damage: £35
The Background: I am expanding my geographical horizons. I have never been to Hornsey before. (Have you?) I meet Al & Louise and Michael in Highgate and then Michael ditches us. Al & Louise take me back to their fantastic new house (the size-to-weekly-rent amount has me insanely jealous and ready to move to N8 tomorrow) in their new car and then we move on to a place they’ve circled in the Time Out Food & Drink Guide.
The Arrival: We are flummoxed by the parking situation. There are many spots, but you are not allowed to park in any of them. A local tells us we will be clamped. So we move the car again and then again. The restaurant tells us not to park there. So we move the car–again–and we hope for the best.
The Pumphouse is very interesting on the inside–it reminds me a little of Bibendum downstairs. This building was obviously something else at some point, and they’ve done a nice job of making it into a restaurant but keeping a lot of the original features. (Lots of pulleys.)
The Service: Is nice, but a bit off. We place our orders and then have to place our orders again because certain items aren’t available. And then the server returns (about 30 minutes after original order being placed) and tells us that the Chef has burned the pork belly and it was the last one and did we want to order something else.
During all of this, one table after another is being served. We are very unlucky as well as hungry, and I have lost confidence in the pork-belly-burning-chef.
The Food: I have the halibut and it is okay. It’s a bit dry, probably because it’s been under the heat lamps for a very long time. Al eventually ends up with the steak and he seems to like it, either that or he was really hungry. Louise has the duck and it looks lovely. So there are some saving graces.
The Dessert: I get talked into Saffron ice cream and it’s like eating sandpaper. Uggh.
The Loos: Co-ed! Kinda fun. I liked them.
The Verdict: I am sure this is a nice place and that many people like it. It just wasn’t for me.