Now, on to the food. This was the menu for the night, consisting of ten dishes from the Ship's full barbecue menu.
While we did get the opportunity to try out lots of food, I'll just highlight my favourite dishes here. Otherwise, this could turn into an incredibly lengthy post, and we all know I blabber way too much under the best of circumstances.
The intriguingly-named 'pig in a jar' was fantastic. It was similar to a rillette and tasted really good spread on the large slice of toast that accompanied the dish. It was delicious... and given that it already comes in a jar, it's definitely something The Ship should think of selling for people to take home. A great way to start off the meal, for sure.
Next up was The Ship's specialty: the chargrilled beef and lamb burger. Head chef Dave and his assistant whipped them up for us right on the spot, turning the mixture of one third lamb and two third beef and various other assorted ingredients from this...
The burger was, in a word, awesome. It was, by far, the best burger I have ever eaten in London. Just for the record, yes, I have eaten at Byron's and Lucky 7. The meat was succulent - no gamey lamb taste - the tomato chutney delicious and the bun was pretty good, though to be honest, I didn't really notice the bun amidst all the delicious meat. If you only have space for one dish, I'd recommend this.
Well, I would have, if it weren't for the next dish Dave served up: rack of pork ribs with coca-cola barbecue sauce (Dave's secret recipe). Tender, fall-off-the-bone meat combined with tasty, tangy, sweet sauce. Yummy. After my first bite, I declared I'd challenge anyone eating to a knock-down, drag-down fight for the last one.
The wine which was served along with the food - You, Me and the Gatepost, Shiraz, 2008 - went very well. Nice and smooth. At the risk of sounding snooty, albeit in a very strange way, the Shiraz didn't give me a headache at all, not even when I drank it on an empty stomach. Usually, red wine - especially if it's of poor quality - gives me a headache pretty damn quickly, so that's how I judge whether a wine's good.
At this point, I was getting very full. The rest of the dishes were good as well, but I was so full that the taste was just getting lost on me. The barbecued lamb was a definite favourite with the crowd, and the mozzarella got quite some praise too.
In addition to the good food, The Ship is also a remarkably nice pub. Aside from the river view, the pub has a fireplace which had a roaring fire the day I was there, which was very good because I was freezing from the cold weather after standing outside watching the chefs at work (our choice, nothing to do with The Ship). By the time we'd finished our meal, there was live music going on in the bar - an Irish band, by the sounds of it.
When I commented on the music, marketing manager Emma told me that the best day to come was Sunday, when there was a live band and dancing on the tables (!). Definitely a sight that'll have to be seen to be believed, for sure.
It was most definitely a great night. I've commented on the fact that it's not too near my place, but, heck, it's a place I really do want to come back to, particularly when the weather's warmer!
Many many thanks to Qype and the wonderful people at The Ship for such a great night!
41 Jew's Row
Tel: 020 8870 9667
Mon – Sat: Lunch 12 pm - 4 pm, Dinner 6 pm - 10 pm
Sun: Lunch 12 pm - 5 pm, Dinner 7 pm - 10 pm