Review: Bishop Out of Residence, Kingston Upon Thames

A while ago I was sent an email asking me if I would like to review a pub/restaraunt in Kingston, not far from me and after reading the press release I was sent I could hardly turn down the opportunity! It sounded amazing! So for the blokes birthday a few weeks ago we visited on a nice Sunny, but chilly day and sat outside, at preschoolers request, to dine on some fine food! First off here’s a little bit from the press release that enticed me!

Head chef Thomas White, who previously worked under Morgan Meunier and Marco Pierre White, has created a simple menu which is British, loud and proud. Dishing up the very best British food from elevenses, with Fairtrade coffee and home-made cake, through to hearty lunches, delicious dinners and sublime Sunday roasts, as well as offering the best riverside views in Kingston, The Bishop Out Of Residence is sure to be a hit with locals.

Dishes range from starters such as pan-fried duck livers with Comice pear, smoked back bacon and parsley toasts, and pea, broad bean and pea shoot salad with salty feta and a pickled walnut dressing. Mains feature pot-roast free-range chicken with black pudding, fondant potatoes, neeps and savoy cabbage, and salmon and haddock fish cake with baby spinach, poached egg and hollandaise sauce. For afters, indulge in creations including pressed chocolate fondant with pistachio cake.

Interiors include a chic upstairs bar decorated in rich purples, reds and greens, complete with velvet thrones, elegant chandeliers and contemporary wallpaper as well as the luxurious adjoining Red Room which is available for private hire.

We arrived and ordered ourselves some drinks at the bar whilst deciding what to have from the vast menu. Now one point I must quickly mention for fellow vegetarians, many restaurants no longer use a (V) sign next to their dishes on menus meaning you have to read it the whole way through to find any vegetarian dishes, thankfully this menu uses the lovely (v) meaning you don’t spend forever trying to find the meat free options! As a vegetarian I’ve got to say they did have a pretty impressive menu, I’m getting used to going out and only getting one maybe two options but there were five options on this menu.

So what did we eat? Well for starters we had the Vegetarian Board (£12.00) which consisted of Courgette chips, roasted Mediterranean vegetables, onion bahji on toasted bread and chilli crispbreads served with grilled flat bread. DS1 devoured the flat bread and we didn’t get much look in there but the small bite I had was delicious! Between bloke and I we polished off pretty much the whole board, I especially loved the Courgette Chips! They weren’t as I had anticipated but they were amazing! Bloke was dying for the recipe of one of the dips and I have to say I would have gladly had as well as it was pretty delicious. I could have easily had that as a bigger starter and eaten it as a main meal!

Now bloke being the meat eater that he is had the  “8oz West Country Steak Burger with Mature Cheddar, Served in floured bap with homemade relish, Onion DS1am, Salad & chips (£9.50)” which arrived as a huge portion and he polished the lot off! So the clean plate must have been a clue as to how much he enjoyed it.

Now being the boring pregnant woman and liking my comfort foods I went for the Margherita Pizza (£7.00)which I have to say was absolutely stunning! It tasted wonderful and you could tell it was homemade which was even better!  The little guy had a mini version of my pizza which he polished off the lot, which is quite rare for him so he must have liked it!

For desserts the bloke had a chocolate brownie Sundae which he literally scraped the bottom of! Clearly a hit there! I had a sticky toffee pudding which was absolutely lovely and tasted amazing!

For a “child friendly” restaurant I did think it had rather a small children’s menu. The roast beef was only available on a Sunday and then the options were Beef burger with/without cheese, Sausage and Mash, Fish and Chips or Pizza (Mon – Fri Only) And one dessert of childs ice cream for £3.10. I also need to mention here that the children’s menu prices were to me pretty expensive, especially the pizza which at half the size of an adult one was priced at £6.30, only 70p cheaper than an adults!  All the prices varied on the children’s menu as well and there was no one price for a main/dessert as many other places supply, making it easier! In terms of child friendliness I have to say I wouldn’t rate it that highly, the colouring that was supplied was tiny and lil man quickly bored of that, thankfully I had planned ahead and we had enough supplies just about for entertainment whilst he groaned about wanting his pizza!

The staff were extremely friendly and attentive however one thing we found to be a downside was for what I would class as a “quiet lunchtime” we were there over 2.5 hours for our 3 courses. We waited over 45 minutes for our starter to arrive, then another 30 minutes until our mains. Bearing in mind most tables were empty that seemed a pretty long time!

Overall what did I think? Well I think its an absolutely stunning building which has been done up impressively well and has a gorgeous interior (one of my twitter friends even asked I steal the purple sofa she saw on the website). The food was top of its class and I would gladly go back there to eat again. However I wouldn’t go back there with kids. I think it is definitely more of a place to visit with friends for a leisurely lunch or a night out.

A lil quirk we loved!

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