No doubt the legacy of the Olympic Park and the huge new shopping centre in Stratford will attract more and more people to the East End. Great news for businesses in the area, but not such great news for diners; they will be unlikely to find a scrap of charm in a food court. Fortunately, Londoners are a resourceful bunch, and if they venture a bit further afield, they will find refuge in the Morgan Arms.
This place certainly does not conform to a rigid design; it’s more a mix of styles. Some are easily noticeable like the big colourful paintings; some are more discreet like the mismatched chairs and sofas. Overall, they all come together in a neutral way that works.
They have applied the same kind of mix & match style to the menu. As a starter, you can get a classic mozzarella, tomato and basil caprese salad with some Thai fish cakes. For mains, boiled lamb and lightly cooked vegetables are mixed with dried apricots, pine nuts and basmati rice. Everything separately is tasty and fresh but the unorthodox flavour combinations are a bit of a concern.
This is a shame, because the pub itself is a grand old lady, nestling beside a lovely green park. Why try to be inventive when the formula of an English pub with classic fare is tried and tested? People go to pubs to eat pub food, not necessarily to experiment with new things. It is worth mentioning though that the front of house service is very pleasant, so if they ever decided to tone down their flavours, the Morgan Arms will be excellent.