The New Inn, Ealing

Posted on 24 March 2004 in Pubs (No comments)

One of the oldest pubs in Ealing is The New Inn. Formerly part of the T.J. Bernard chain, it was recently refurbished, re-opening its doors in Feburary.

I'm not going to look back on The New Inn with rose tinted glasses. It wasn't that great before, and now it's been done up, it's still not. It always was a pub that had potential but I doubt the new look will do anything to solve its problems other than burn a hole in someones pocket.

The New Inn may be one of the older pubs in Ealing, but you'd be hard pressed to know that now - most of the existing fixtures have been ripped out. They probably weren't originals anyway, but its meant the place just feels like one large empty room with a few sofas in it.

The old pub had a large number of handpulls, with a fair range of beer. The new pub has ripped them all out and just two remain. And one of the beers, Marston's Pedigree was off. What did remain (Fuller's London Pride) was good. Can't argue with that.

Look and feel.

But the place just seemed... lacking. Lacking any sense of atmosphere for starters. But it just feels transient - somewhere people float in and out of, but offer no real commitment to. With St. Mary's Road being stuffed full of good local pubs (The Red Lion, The Castle, The Rose and Crown), it just sits out like a sore thumb.

By the decor and music, it seems to be trying to attract the young and trendy set. And maybe if it was in the centre of Ealing it would get the punters. But it;s not, and the place was mostly empty. Okay our visit was a Sunday evening, but I walked past it the Friday before having just left the rampacked Red Lion. In contrast The New Inn looked mostly dead.

Do not eat here. Not even if you are desperate.

But that's not the saddest of all. Oh no. That... is the food.

Okay, it's not bad, but it's hugely overpriced. My steak was over £12 but I've had better ones from pubs that have yellow signs saying "Sizzling Value" and offering a steak for just £2.99.

For £12 I expect good quality and I didn't get it. In fact it didn't come close. The chips where almost solid, the salad merely cucumber, tomato and iceberg lettuce. And the steak was flat, dull and lifeless. It looked like it had come out of a factory and frozen. Compare for the same money the steaks I've had at The Red Lion - superb meat quality, lovely chips, delightful salad and a homemade herb butter that just oozes in a pleasing way.

Let me give the management of The New Inn a tip - if you expect people to pay gastro-pub prices, give them proper home-cooked gastropub food. If instead you're just going to get your bumper value, frozen steak megapack and mix it with your bumper-value frozen chips and an assorted and bog standard salad, put the yellow sign in your window and charge £2.99.

Rip Off Central.

There is no way on earth I will be eating at The New Inn again and I would recommend that no one does. It's way overpriced and when you stare at your food and think of your credit card bill, you'll just be vastly disappointed. This is NOT a way to provide food in a pub. It's nothing more than a complete rip off. The margins the pub must be making on its food must be enormous and the owners laughing all the way to the bank. But I'll be surprised if they laugh too much given they won't be getting much repeat custom.

At least the old New Inn didn't make any pretentions about its food - yes it probably came out of a freezer, but it was cheap and didn't pretend to be something it's not. A burger and chips for about £4 doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is. The same burger and chips for double the price and with a limp bit of salad next to it, that's just shameful.

Address:

62 St Mary's Road, Ealing W5 4QA

Beers on handpull during visit:
Fullers London Pride. Marstons Pedigree was also visible but not available during visit.

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