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Review

The Endurance

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Berwick Street, London WC2

Tel: 020 7437 2944


The rise of the gastro pub has been one of the more enjoyable food fads in the capital these last few years, even if hardened drinkers might disagree. The formula goes something like this. Take one ropy local boozer. Remove ruddy-faced drinkers and old nicotine-stained furniture. Add tables, lots of stripped pine and a decent chef. Simmer for a couple of months and serve.

The latest local boozer to get the treatment is Berwick Street’s decidedly ropy The King of Corsica which recently reopened as The Endurance. As you may have guessed from the name, it’s part of the same group responsible for The Perseverance. While it’s yet to attain the same level of cooking as that Holborn favourite, The Endurance is showing signs of being one to watch.

Unlike many a gastropub, The Endurance has managed to bring in the foodies while keeping some of the focus on the third syllable. It has a well-stocked jukebox, a lively market-trading clientele and, most surprisingly, a darts team. It doesn’t have many beers – bitter fans can only choose between Directors or John Smiths – but the atmosphere is relaxing and, for all intents and purposes, it’s a very decent pub.

My companion and I popped in for a quick Monday lunch. After a few minutes perusal of the limited but interesting menu, we decided to go straight into main courses: fish and chips with minted pea puree (£8.75) for him, and Scallop ad hake pie, seasonal vegetables (£8.75) for me. The fish arrived in crisp golden batter and accompanied by chunky chips but, sadly, was a little bony. However, sometimes that happens and, as he’d eaten there happily a couple of times before, was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. No such complaints about the pie though. Fat scallops, good mash and big flakes of hake came in a fine, creamy sauce. The vegetables were good too.

With an urgent appointment looming, dessert was eschewed in favour of (excellent) coffee. The final bill – including a pint and a half and a coke – was just south of £25. In the heart of Soho, that’s pretty hard to beat. Once The Endurance finds its feet, I suspect it’ll be worth a revisit.

Neil Davey