Katie Sets Her Sights On The Pie

The Bollo provides heart-warming shelter from the storm

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The Bollo House 13-15 Bollo Lane, Chiswick, W4 5LR
Tel: 0208 994 6037

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I should have known when I ‘borrowed’ an umbrella from the office that it would break and embarrassingly turn inside out as I made my way to The Bollo for supper.

As well as hoping my hair was okay, it was such a soggy, dark October evening that all I could think of was pie. Shepherds Pie, Chicken Pie, any pie, and if possible Pie with Mash and Peas. Even though it was only a two minute walk from Chiswick Park Tube it was a huge relief to arrive, be greeted by the staff and actually shown to a table, which is not usual practise for your average pub as far as I know.

I warmed up quickly and managed to block out the blustery night and take in the relaxed atmosphere of The Bollo. Although it was quiet when I arrived at 7, it was cosily full by half past and most of the clientele appeared to be local. I skim-read the menu as soon as I was seated and to my delight there it was: Lamb and Vegetable Pie with Creamy Mash. No ‘process of elimination’ for me, I had already made my choice.

On closer inspection of the menu, I found it varied catering for most tastes though I did notice a shortfall in the vegetarian department.

My friend ordered three Oysters for her starter and I chose Fried Calamari (£5.95) which was a glorious golden pile of at least seven or eight rings, served with a fresh and delicious aioli. The calamari itself was tender, not the rubbery disappointment that I often come across inland, and the batter was light and crispy. There was a slightly floury after bite but it was yummy all the same.

My Lamb Pie (£10.95) was covered with a lovely crunchy top crust which I immediately cut away to reveal the delicious melt-in the mouth lamb. To my delight the aforementioned vegetables were peas and carrots. The pie gravy could have been a bit more velvety (it was more a juice than a gravy) but the flavours were all there and it was seasoned to perfection. The mound of mash was the perfect consistency; a good old-fashioned dollop rather than that too soft slop that you often get.

My friend ordered Slow Roast pork belly with Leek Champ and Apple Sauce (£10.95) which she described as "the perfect meal for a night like this". Her choice, like my own, had evidently been influenced by the weather. The perfection of this weather/ food choice combination was confirmed by the fact that she ate everything on her plate. I didn’t manage to finish all mine but probably would have had the portion been less generous.

To drink, we shared a bottle of the house red which was a Tempranillo (£13.50) and slipped down very easily. If I’d had room for pudding I’d have gone for the Apple and Pear crumble, but I’ll save that for next time. My friend finished off with a decaf coffee which brought our bill to £54 including service.

Wednesday’s weekly Quiz night kicked off half way through the meal but thankfully only managed to punctuate our girly chit-chat rather than drown us out.

I will definitely go back to the Bollo for a drink and a nice meal, and had there been more than two of us that night, I think we would have been tempted to sit-out the rain, order another bottle of wine and create a team for the quiz.

Katie Horswell


October 10, 2009