An East End boozer becomes a slick gastro pub with bags of potential
Between the two main roads, the residential streets of Bow tend to be sleepy and uninteresting. So it is surprising to come across a big, bustling gastropub nestled into the otherwise residential Cardigan Street. This new arrival, Green Goose, has become something of a social hub in its first weeks of opening partly because it fills a gap for the young professionals and parents who live in the area.
The site was previously local boozer the Lord Cardigan, which, while favoured by a small group of regulars, was rarely visited by most of the nearby residents. Now the soft furnishings have been stripped away, the bar stocks independent breweries, and the weekly karaoke night has been cancelled. It’s a standard London gastro makeover.
That’s not to say that Green Goose is run-of-the-mill. A carefully-chosen selection of drinks and food ensures that. Fourpure Brewery provide the stars of the bar: try their Pils on draught if you’re after an easy, refreshing lager. You will have to cough up around £1 more for a big name brand beer here than you would at the old Roman Road establishments, so you’d do better to push the boat out and try one of the more interesting drinks on offer. Oatmeal stout is a good autumnal choice.
The wine list is impressive, and very much geared towards the dining element of the pub. But the standout feature of the drinks menu is a selection of hearty cocktails. There are no skimpy, sparkly thimblefuls here, just delicious tipples in big glasses which are perfect for Winter. The Smoked Maple Old Fashioned makes you feel like you’re in a Canadian log cabin rather than East London.
These are all very grown-up drinks for a grown-up pub. Students and families are not the target market here, and the shiny refit reminds us of that. It’s all about drinking, conversation, and having long, candlelit get-togethers over a £20 steak. There’s no pool table or pub quiz (yet). The large walled garden may have AstroTurf underfoot, but this is for the convenience of smokers and big after-work groups rather than children.
Food-wise, the menu is highly fashionable. Pub classics are nowhere to be seen on the weekday menu, replaced by an obligatory bulgur wheat dish and a couple of classic restaurant favourites, mostly Franco-American in style. Vegetarian options are somewhat thin on the ground, though often the most sophisticated item on offer. For meat-lovers, an open kitchen means that you can watch your ribeye steak or pork & chorizo burger being grilled in front of you.
There are only three weekend brunch items on offer at the moment, and it would be nice to see this expanded; the tall, uncurtained windows allow plenty of natural light into the front room, which is an ideal feature for an Instagrammable brunch hotspot. On Sundays, there is a mouth-watering roast menu, adorned with interesting starters. Pork and pistachio terrine, anyone?
It will be interesting to see how Green Goose develops. They could either try to become an out-of-town destination for central Londoners or focus attention on Bow’s ever-growing supply of affluent commuters and young families. At the moment, they’re hoping to do both. The pub is disadvantaged by being further away from the millionaire’s part of Bow, Tredegar Square, which in any case already has three other pubs to service it. But I would not underestimate the value of a place which serves great food and drink, has plenty of space to sit, and retains a classic feel. For a young professional hoping to unwind after their commute back from Canary Wharf, or a new parent who needs a night off that isn’t too far from home, this place could be a godsend.
Green Goose is at 112 Anglo Road, Bow, E3 5HD
Words by Alys Key @alys_key