All aboard The Ship | The Ship pub, 41 Jews Row, Wandsworth, London SW18 1TB

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Sign O the times…

It’s with a touch of irony that I’m writing this review of The Ship whilst sat on an aeroplane. But the 10 hour flight to LA will give me the time that a piece on this extremely popular gastropub deserves…

We’d been to this Young’s pub twice before. On the first visit we took santuary after a slightly disappointing trip to a food festival in nearby Battersea Park, where the humid weather played havoc with Edd Kimber‘s baking masterclass.

The second time we were invited along by the ever charismatic manager Oisin Rogers (more commonly known as Osh) to take a sneak peek at the recently completed renovation works, that gives The Ship some much needed extra capacity. The pub has been on this site since 1786 but the new decor and interior design strikes the perfect balance between a modern airy feel and cosy rustic comfort.

We managed to get a little teaser of the new menu and the bite sized offering of their famed burgers and award-winning scotch eggs, this place even has an annual scotch egg challenge! This time we’d been invited back to try the new menu proper! And after eating at Osh’s other pub, The Thatched House in Hammersmith, we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed. It was Sunday around midday when we pulled into the B&Q car park just around the corner from The Ship. Parking right next to the pub can be a bit of an issue but there is also a NCP style car park only a few hundred meters or so away.

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One day your ship will come in…

As we arrived the pub was heaving! Bodies were literally strewn all over the floor, alive obviously. Beautiful girls and boys (and dogs) filled every nook and cranny in and around The Ship, the lucky ones basking in the sunshine. We even saw a group of lads carrying a table from the main bar into the street. We had planned to find a quiet spot to run through our holiday itinerary! We should be so lucky…
The Ship, Wandsworth, We Love Food, It's All We Eat

The Queen Mother knew how to pull….
Photo by us.

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I’ve heard of fish face, but fish hands?
Photo by us.

But we WERE lucky! We’d booked a table in the restaurant, and it was a good job we did, the newly extended restaurant was almost as busy as the garden, where the BBQ pumped out burgers, ribs and such, we wanted to those too, next time… The room was bright and open, conservatory like, with big windows and skylights. Furniture was the usual mix n match set up and the table simply set. What we really liked was the quirky, almost Monty Pythonesque, pictures and a huge picture of the Queen Mother pulling a pint of Young’s ale. While on the subject, The Ship serves a range of craft beers from the Meantime brewery… You must try a bottle of their Yakima Red! Inside was more of a family pub than outside, a handful of fresh babies and children.
All around us waitresses were dashing about with plates piled high with roast diners (pork, beef or chicken). At £14 you can see why they were so popular. But we were here for a three-course blowout and didn’t want the roast leaving us too full for dessert! Plus we wanted to sample as many of head chef Shaun Harrington’s dishes as possible.
The Ship, Wandsworth, We Love Food, It's All We Eat

The sweetbreads queued patiently as croquette went for a pea…
Photo by us.

To start I ordered the Roasted sweetbreads, mushroom croquette and pea shoots, £7.50. The sweetbreads had a very delicate flavour, almost of liver. These were drizzled in a thick, meaty gravy reduction that wasn’t so rich as to overpower the flavour or the sweetbreads. This was topped with crisp pea shoots, a sprinkling of sweet, fresh from the pod, garden peas and coated in a light oil dressing.
The Ship, Wandsworth, We Love Food, It's All We Eat

Cheeky, cheeky, very cheeky!
Photo by us.

Saffron went for one of her favourite things, Braised pig cheeks, £8.50. We cook them at home, our first attempt turned out like shoe leather but we got It right the next time! Saff wasn’t disappointed with The Ship‘s offering…Rich melt in the mouth pork with Asian overtones, complimented perfectly by the wilted spinach leaves and wafer thin curls of celeriac chips.
The Ship, Wandsworth, We Love Food, It's All We Eat

Risotto no you dit-ten… Oh yes I did!
Photo by us.

Now on to the main event, as mentioned before, most people were ordering roasts but we both went for something a little lighter. I love chorizo, so when I saw it was a big player in the Red pepper risotto, £12.50, I just had to have it! These miniature soft, salty and spicy Jenga block shaped chorizo chunks were the perfect bedfellow for the sweet, crispy crunch of the pearl onions. The shaved Parmesan highlighted the cheese within this delicious pepper risotto that sat within a moat of olive oil. This was deceptively filling, especially as it was the second cheapest dish in the mains section. But that still didn’t stop me from wishing that I could mop the plate clean with some leftover bread!
The Ship, Wandsworth, We Love Food, It's All We Eat

‘DUCK!’ shouted Bok Choy. ‘I know’ replied Spring onion mash.
Photo by us.

Saff ordered the seared duck and wilted Bok Choy, £16.50. It goes without saying that the duck was cooked perfectly, slightly pink in the middle, tender right up to its rich, silky layer of fat and slightly crispy skin. Served with an unnervingly green spring onion mash – although Saff said it was packed with flavour, a welcome variation on the norm. She particularly loved the jus, complete with small scatterings of sweet clementine, although it could have done with more orange flesh.
The Ship, Wandsworth, We Love Food, It's All We Eat

The totally tropical taste
Photo by us.

For dessert, I went off menu and ordered from the specials board. As the sun was shining I ordered the totally tropical taste of the Grilled pineapple, £6.25. This light, sweet pudding was the solid equivalent of a Piña Colada. Grilled pineapple rings (obviously), a creamy coconut sorbet, passionfruit marshmallow, fresh mango and mango sauce… Close your eyes and you could be in the Caribbean, well almost.
The Ship, Wandsworth, We Love Food, It's All We Eat

Let’s get ready, ready. Let’s get ready, ready. Let’s get ready to crumble!
Photo by us.

Saff took a lighter option too, there was no way that either of us were even going to attempt the sticky toffee pudding or treacle tart (both £6.25). Her Poached rhubarb jelly, set vanilla custard, rhubarb sorbet and almond crumble (£6.25) was a crazy fruit trifle/crumble hybrid with some sorbet thrown in for good measure! Ideal for a hot lazy Sunday afternoon… And a great partner for Saff’s first Pimm’s of the year. She said she hadn’t eaten desserts this inventive Bob Bob Ricard, now that’s high praise.
The Ship, Wandsworth, We Love Food, It's All We Eat

It’s Pimm’s O’clock…
Photo by us.

We made our way back outside to see if there was anywhere to park our bums and discuss our holiday (a post on our USA trip to come really soon). But no, not even a square foot of space to be found anywhere, even Keira Knightley would struggle to find a space big enough to stand in… This has to be the most popular pub in London, with a waterside location, wonderful food and service, it’s not surprising it’s packed to the rafters. Well that is that, we’re about 4 hours into our 10 hour flight and after a typically tasteless airplane meal in a box on a tray, I really wish I could be back at The Ship working my way through their delicious new menu!

www.theship.co.uk
41 Jew’s Row,

Wandsworth,
London. SW18 1TB

Telephone: 020 8870 9667

Email: ship@youngs.co.uk

Restaurant Opening Hours:
Mon – Sat Lunch: 12pm-4pm, Dinner: 6pm-10pm
Sunday Lunch: 12pm-5pm, Dinner: 7pm-10pm

Bar Opening Hours:
Sun – Wed: 11am – 11pm
Thurs – Sat: 11am – 12am

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Nearest train station: Wandsworth Town
Nearest tube: Clapham Junction

 

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