Jun 13 2011 By Michael Russell, Fulham Chronicle
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THE lively music and crowds of drinkers made The Old Fire Station feel more like a place to start a big night out rather than a relaxed dining venue. But, having chosen it mainly for its proximity to Hammersmith Tube station to meet up with friends before heading on, we were enticed by the menu and decided to stay to eat.
The pouring rain probably had something to do with our decision, some gushing through the pub's metal roof, although luckily the building is large and the water did not cause too many problems.
I'm glad we did stay, because the food was tasty and pretty good value. The large interior, which used to house fire engines, is now home to tables and leather sofas. The music is loud, at times making conversation difficult, but it has to be because it is matched by the noisy conversations echoing around the room.
We moved from one of the sofas to the dining area, which had chairs and table service and was a little quieter.
I chose belly of pork in cider gravy, with spring cabbage and mashed potato, at £10.50.
My girlfriend went for asparagus risotto with parmesan and lemon zest at £8, while our two friends chose a caesar salad for £6.50 and sausages with colcannon mash, gravy and onion rings, at £8.50.
A Guinness, half-a-pint of Heineken, a Budvar and glass of house white took the bill up to £49.
Almost all of us were happy with our choices. My friend and I thought the meat and gravy were tasty and the mash creamy, while our companion was impressed by her filling salad and its large anchovies.
My girlfriend wasn't happy with her risotto, however, deciding that the lemon overpowered all the other flavours.
Overall it was a good meal and not too expensive. I wouldn't visit especially for the food, but if I found myself there again, which I probably will thanks to the lively atmosphere and the fun, eclectic decor, I will be more than happy to have a meal.
THE OLD FIRE STATION, 244 Shepherd's Bush Road, Hammersmith 020 8222 8451