Hereford Road: Uninspiring (February 2017)

I had had high hopes visiting Hereford Road, but found them mostly disappointed. Located on the site of a former butcher’s and with offal as its USP, I have been led to believe that Hereford Road might have the potential to be as west London equivalent of the ever-popular St. John. At 7pm on a recent Thursday evening, I certainly didn’t expect to be the first customer in the restaurant and as I sat down to survey my surroundings, I considered that whatever the place may have in its favour in terms of food, it would have to compensate amply for the palpable lack of atmosphere. Even if this initial assessment may appear too harsh, neither the overall feel of the place nor the food ever got going. At its peak that evening, the restaurant was barely half full and any voice much above normal volume registered abruptly. The tables are well-spaced and the light-well a nice touch, but probably to see Hereford Road at its best, you need a summer’s day with a few more customers present. Despite the fact that the staff were hardly rushed off their feet, all of those with whom we interacted seemed really to struggle in summoning enthusiasm for the job they were doing. When my dining comrade asked our server which of two mains she would recommend, her answer was hedged, evasive and half-hearted. I also overheard another server highlighting specials of the day to a nearby table, yet bafflingly, these were not offered to us. Had they been, I doubt whether my appraisal of the culinary output would have been any more effusive. The dishes we had were essentially unmemorable. My game paté starter was tasteless and lacking moisture. It could have comprised game or gammon and I might not have been any wiser. My onglet main became a chore to eat; the meat chewy and unrelenting. My comrade enjoyed the aesthetic presentation of his dishes but certainly did not lavish any notable praise on their taste. At ~£60/head (wine and service included), I was left distinctly feeling that my money could have been much better spent elsewhere.