Jan 21 16

The Old Goat, Hampton Road, Twickenham

Jack Cutforth

Visited: Friday 15 January by GM

GOAT1

For a pub that describes itself as being one of Twickenham’s top rugby pubs, it’s a fair old hike from the stadium. You’ll only ever find yourself near The Old Goat if you accidentally fall asleep on the night bus and are rudely awoken at 3am to discover that Fulwell has a bus depot, and brother, you’re at it. The pub will be closed at that time, but it’s so good we’d consider curling up on the landlord’s bonnet like a cat until the following day. According to legend, Dick Turpin did almost the exact same.

When you do eventually get in, you’ll find a smartly decked out establishment that fully embraces its Belgian roots – a hint you’ll have gleaned from the restaurant side of the place, which is called Brouge. If we’re being critical, ‘the restaurant side of the place’ is basically the place full stop: you won’t find any Chippendales or short stools, but your table will have a miniature oil lamp, which makes Boozehound feel sophisticated.

It’s no surprise that the food is heavily influenced by Belgian cuisine, and for that we are thankful. Moules frites dishes are diverse and tasty, while the undoubted star are the ribs, which are the best you’ll find in South West London. Brie is the pick of the starters, the two wedges of deep-fried heaven enough to give even TOWIE’s Gemma Collins a heart attack, and she’s literally a rhinoceros.

If the food is good, the beer is on another level. The bar stocks hundreds of craft and Belgian beers, including some real world-beaters like Delirium Tremens. If you’re not familiar with the more obscure beers, go for a pint of Troubadour IPA – a lightweight version of the wine-strength trappist drop that is probably best left to the professionals.

Beer: 5
Price: 3
Service: 4
Atmosphere: 3

Do they do food? And how. Order the full rack of ribs and never look back. We’d take dinner over the Sunday carvery.
Are they in the 21st Century? Very much so. We normally stick our card behind the bar.
Are there dogs? They probably value their food hygiene rating above a love of our four-legged friends.
I want to smoke: There’s a small smoking area at the side of the pub, which faces onto a busy road and isn’t that pleasant. If you’re determined to kill yourself, order the brie.