I’ve been to the Gun many times before for drinks but never to eat at the restaurant and I’ve been eyeing it up for a while. So one wintery Sunday when I was looking for somewhere to visit for a Sunday lunch, I decided to book a table to try it with my family.
The Gun is a little bit off the beaten track, based in East London’s Docklands, not far from Canary Wharf, the nearest DLR stop is South Quay and it’s a good ten minute walk from there. We’d booked a table for 4pm but actually arrived a bit earlier and settled in the bar to have a drink instead while we waited for our table – there was a really buzz in the bar, the restaurant was certainly very busy and there were lots of people having a drink or sat by the roaring fireplaces. I loved the old fashioned fittings on the bar which felt really authentic and traditional – you can’t actually find many of these kinds of spaces in London.
There’s the main bar at the front of the pub which is the larger space but at the back there’s a smaller, cosier bar with an amazing fireplace and fantastic views of the river and the o2 arena which is just on the other side of the river. This bar has the added excitement of being decorated with lots of vintage guns which is all part of the history of The Gun.
The pub was completely packed, both in the bar restaurant but we didn’t have to wait long at all before we were seated in the main part of the restaurant. It had a lovely buzz but admittedly I was hoping to a sit in the riverside restaurant section which overlooks the o2. Nevermind, it gives me an excuse to go back!
The Gun – What We Ordered
If you’ve read my Top Four Whole Roasted Chicken Dishes in London then you’ll already know that I love a classic roast chicken, especially when you can share it with someone. I quickly spotted the Whole Suffolk Free Range Chicken for two (£39) on the menu and my mum didn’t need any persuasion to share the dish with me. The other options of roast sirloin beef, roast belly of pork and slow braised lamb shank all sounded delicious too; I’d happily order any of them.
The roast chicken for two was beautifully served on a long rectangle platter where you could see each element of the dish piled high in front of us; crispy roast potatoes that audibly crunch when you bite into them, soft and sweet roast carrots flavoured with garlic, buttered kale, cabbage, roasted cauliflower gratin and caramelised pigs in blankets. What a feast! The platter was topped with two giant Yorkshire puddings. Bread sauce and gravy were served on the side in tiny little jugs – you get a pot of gravy and bread sauce each so there’s no arguments! The platter was placed in between us so we could help ourselves. The meat was wonderfully moist and soft with both chicken leg and chicken breast on the platter; the portion size certainly wasn’t stingy!
My dad chose to order the Roast Sirloin of Hampshire Beef (£19) which was soft and tender and served pink – just how we like it. The portion size was good although it looked small compared to the roast chicken bonanza we had on the other side of the table. The selection of vegetables was the same, with the addition of creamed horseradish and a crispy pomme anna potato.
We particularly liked the crisp white linen tablecloth and napkins – this is an added bonus that you don’t often find in London pubs where everything these days seems to be paper napkins. The service was extremely attentive and sharp, without being overbearing at all – the perfect balance.
I thought that the prices were average for London and in line for what I’d expect to pay for a good roast dinner on a busy Sunday lunchtime.
The Gun – 5/5
Dining at The Gun was a wonderfully traditional experience and although the pub is a little bit off of the beaten track, I think that it adds to the quaintness and charm of it. An easy five out of five.
Food – 5/5
Service – 4/5
Decor / Ambience – 5/5
The total cost for three people was £83.21 including service and drinks.
Have you visited The Gun before? Feeling Inspired? Check out my London Restaurant Hit List!
The Gun, Docklands