When they opened Buckingham Castle last summer the banquet tables were displayed fully set and decorated with pineapples. This is a tradition that has continued from Victorian times as I suppose that pineapples were a very exotic fruit in those days. So it is not entirely surprising to find an old Victorian era pub in the back streets of Kentish town called The Pineapple. Obviously very modern and cutting edge in its day, The Pineapple is now a delightful snapshot of a time gone by. There are plaster pineapples on the cornices and pineapples also adorn the etched glass behind the huge antique mahogany bar that dominates the front room of the pub.
Out the back there is a large glass conservatory and a lovely beer garden that would be very handy if Summer ever arrived. There is lots of real ale on tap and you can pick up a cheeky glass of chardonnay for £3. We headed to The Pineapple for birthday drinks and a meal for Kentish town local Pete. Pineapple is not on the menu, rather The Pineapple has followed the trend of quite a few London pubs and offers Thai food rather than a more traditional pub menu. Being a fan of both Thai food and pubs I am not against combining the two as a concept but find that it is often poorly executed and can involve frozen spring rolls from Tesco.
Luckily the food served at The Pineapple was of a higher calibre. The spring rolls were actually fresh however disappointingly they were not served with pieces of lettuce to wrap around them. For £7.50 you could order stir fry beef with ginger and chilli which came in a generous serving and had a decent amount of kick to it, although not quite as much as I like. The best dish was probably the chicken stir fry with basil which Thea selected taking advantage of the fact that The Pineapple is her local and she has had the chance to test a fair proportion of the menu. It was a jumble of colour and comprised a large mound of lightly marinated chicken flecked with fresh basil leaves and red peppers and served with a bowl of coconut rice.
The Pineapple is not the sort of pub you would cross town for (unless you too had an excuse like Pete’s birthday) but it is the sort of place that you would be very happy if it was your local.
Details: 51 Leverton Street, Kentish Town, NW5 2NX (Ph 72 84 4631)