The Defectors Weld is one of the few non-scruffy bars based around Shepherds Bush. Open late with free entry on Fridays and Saturdays, it’s usually packed, even midweek.
Drinks are pretty overpriced (£4 for a pint of lager shandy, £6 for beer and lemonade) but a “buy 1 get 2nd for £1″ cocktail happy hour can make for a semi-reasonable fun excursion.
Food-wise, the menu is upmarketed pub grub; sausage based and vegetarian platters along with the usual suspects of pies, burgers and chicken based dishes. Brunch and Sunday Roast also available. Price-wise, it’s a bit more expensive than what you’d expect in pubs. Quantity-wise, portions are tardis-like that look small initially but are very filling…. but is it worth it?
Went a few weeks ago for a promising brunch, scrambled eggs on toast were just under a fiver for a heap of creamy eggs on 2 doorsteps of wholegrain toast. Bacon and pancakes were substantial, the pancakes were strangely rubbery but satisfied the hangover.
So we braved a dinner last week, dishes explored were steak, smoked chicken breast with lentils, chestnut puree and cavolo nero, and wild mushroom risotto (served. Again portions were deceivingly small but satisfying. Mains pretty much all just over or just under a tenner, apart from the steak which was a couple of quid more. Allow about £15 pp including a drink.
Steak and Chicken were OK, chicken was intensely smoky, but the sides were pretty heavy going and a lot was left uneaten. Risotto was interesting – garnished with a heap of rocket, laden with chanterelles and button mushrooms (button mushrooms grow in the wild?), but the rice was slightly underdone, and too chalky. Good for the first dozen mouthfuls but only just about that.
Another gripe is that although the service was pretty good (order at the bar, can’t really go wrong there eh), we had booked a table which, predictably at 7:30 on a Wednesday night, was already occupied prior to our slot by drinkers. There was a sign on the table, but we were responsible for booting the patrons off so we could take our seats. An uncomfortable start to the meal (there were 6 of them and 3 of us), and had I not been with brave friends, to be honest, I’d probably have just jacked the idea in and gone to the Green Room .
The verdict? Good looking but too many fatal flaws, a bit too heavy, a tad underdone. If you’re looking for a wanky menu, this is the place to come, but next time I’m looking for a feed I’ll head for somewhere with a simpler menu that’s better executed (did I mention Green Room .?)