It’s the 100m final. You and Usain Bolt are neck-and-neck. The crowd are screaming your name as you near the finish line. But then Cilla Black, sequins and all, steams past, ducking low and pipping you both to gold. Your heart sinks and you curse yourself for: a) not realising sooner that this was a dream, and b) passing out drunk on the sofa watching reruns of Blind Date.
The Hero of Maida, a pub in Little Venice serving French bistro food, is so impressive that you’ll have to keep reminding yourself that this isn’t just another one of your crazy, inebriated dreams.
The first thing you need to know about The Hero of Maida is that it’s good looking. Like properly good looking. It’s a big bright place with palatially high ceilings, dark wood, handsome leather padding on everything, and lots of polished brass. It’s hyper plush, and very west London. It feels like, at any minute, one of Hugh Grant’s screen characters could bumble in blindly looking for love.
The second thing you need to know is that it’s not just a looker. It’s from the same people behind The Coach in Farringdon, so the food here is impressive. It’s classic French food with some very English twists. ‘French food in an English pub?’ you cry. Well, before you let your grandad’s questionable ideas about the French cloud your judgement of what to expect, consider some options from their sit down menu. How does a grilled rabbit leg topped with bacon in a strong and creamy mustard sauce tickle your fancy? What about a lemony sea bass served on a sheet of fresh charcuterie. That’s exactly what you’ll get at Hero. There are some other stand out dishes here like their white wine chicken, and the beef tartare, but really you’re going to be delighted here whether you pop in for a fish finger sandwich and some oysters at the bar, or full a full meal.
Whether you’re looking for an extra special place for Sunday roast, or a very civilised family meal up in their dining room, you couldn’t do much better than The Hero of Maida. This place is the stuff of pub dreams. Just make sure you pinch yourself when it starts to feel like it might not actually be real.
Believe us when we say that the aftertaste of this will remind you of eggy bread. Strange nostalgic aftertastes aside, the richness of the brains is helped out in a big way by the punchy capers.
It’s decent but nothing new, and not really anything special. But you’re at a posh pub, and it’d be rude not to.
A little bit spicy, a little bit mustardy, and worth it just for the toast it’s served with.
This is cooked perfectly, and served in an outrageously good bacon and mustard sauce.
This is cooked in a lemon and dill sauce and tastes great, but the real surprise is the fresh layer of charcuterie underneath. It adds a freshness and a chewiness to everything, and it’ll leave you wondering why every fish isn’t served on a bed of ham.
Another standout dish. We wouldn’t have taken this for a summery dish, but the combination of shallots, mash, and the buttery sauce make it feel both rich and light.