Nestling at the smarter end of the gastropub spectrum, The Tommyfield serves the needs of upmarket diners and drinkers from its location in the heart of Kennington.
Simple but tasteful decor and darkly lit, the white tiling on the walls and large chalk board menu both lend it the air of being one huge kitchen, a feel emphasised even further by the fact the kitchen at the far end is openly on view to diners. Drinkers occupy the floor of the single room, while those dining take up residence on the more sumptuous leather banquettes by the windows or at the raised area by the kitchen.
The Tommyfield attracts a mixture of generations - you may well see parents sharing a meal with their grown up children - with the main core of clients coming from the 30-50 age range. It's definitely female-friendly, especially for the post-work crowd which is often in evidence.
The blackboard menu features the day's specials in terms of fish, pies or steaks and burgers from the grill, but there's also a highly innovative selection of dishes from the pub's Sicilian-born chef. It's not a huge menu, but with plenty of veggie choices - the cauliflower fritters and roast pepper raita make for an excellent starter (£5.50) - and nice touches like a haddock smokie served with poached egg and soldiers (£6.25), it's got a lot to recommend it. The mains are equally original and impressive; the slow cooked pork belly on mash with apple and cider sauce (£12.50) is perfection itself, while the pumpkin and porcini mushroom lasagne (£10.50) is arguably the most vivid, zesty tasting vegetarian lasagne on offer anywhere in London. Other choices include pan fried sea bass with fennel (£12:50), calves' liver (£13), chicken ballotine (£13) and a roasted vegetable and mozzarella sausage roll (£9.50).
The Tommyfield has a great wine list, with the chef's Sicily connections coming to the fore - the vivacious Ca di Ponti Catarratto (£13.95) house wine hails from there and it’s a classy option for its relatively low price. Elsewhere there are wines from South Africa, France, Spain and even an English Chapel Down rose (£23), champagnes, spirits and cocktails and a selection of guest ales.
The Last Word
The Tommyfield is a civilised but relaxed environment in which to enjoy a low key drink, but you really should go for the truly exceptional cooking.