Food review: The White Horse, City

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FOOD

The White Horse
City
★★★★✩

For Wharfers, the City can be unsettling. A melange of barely controlled buildings. Splashes of comforting steel and glass shot through with unexpected stone and brick follies that jar the senses with their cramped alleys.

Unmatching furniture in a house clearance shop.

Broadgate Circus though, is a home from home. Razor cut lines, squares criss-crossed with placid blue lights and improbable public art.

The White Horse enjoys a very pleasant kind of fakery. Just as the Wharf's Iberian offerings forge Spain with their interiors, so this unit channels country gastropub.

Rough finished wood, beaten up leather, flowery fabrics and livestock paintings coagulate.
It's a blend that satisfies: soft on the eye, warm on the buttocks and comforting after the diffused light of an office.

Mouthing the pork belly is akin to sinking your teeth into a scuffed leather beanbag moulded to a perfect shape by decades of use. It deforms to fit the crevices of the maw with a welcome, salty crispness.

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The starter of scallops and ham is an upholstered dining chair of a dish.

The kind you nervously slipped into before discovering it's much softer than appearances suggested.

The uncomfortable pew of the evening arrives in the form of a hot scotch egg. Bisected, to show off what should have been a lustrous flowing yolk, it disappoints.

Although the meat of its sermon is amusing enough, the core should have been less like the hard oak of its metaphor.

Ignoring the furniture food however, there's a very good reason to make this your destination if you're Bank bound.

The whole evening was underpinned by a solid beech table of service. Smooth, unhurried, attentive and polite. Well planed down, each joint snapped snugly into place; it was textbook tablecraft.

It might be desperately un-threatening but that's the perfect refuge for Wharfers abroad in town.

Hopefully that fact also outweighs the risk of bumping into a former banker buddy you hated.

The White Horse, 2 Exchange Square, Appold Street, London, EC2M 2QS, 020 7377 9958, geronimo-inns.co.uk.

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