Lunch for a
fiver - White Hart
I look on the White Hart menu board, and see, to
my delight, that one of my favourite dishes is on offer. Gnocchi
in Cheese Sauce. Only £4.50. I confront a waiter carrying
a large tureen of soup, who takes me over to a serving hatch.
“What do you want?” he says in a Yorkshire accent,
balancing the soup precariously on a ledge.
“The gnocchi, please,” I reply, pronouncing it
in the Italian way. Call me pretentious, but I call these
little potato doughballs ‘knee-ocky’. He looks
at me blankly. I repeat the order.
“The Gnocchi. Gnocchi?” More blank looks. I decide
for a radical solution, hardening the ‘g’ and
sounding the ‘h’.
“Can I have the ‘gernochy’?” I hate
this solution, but it works. The penny drops. I go and wait
in the newly refurbished front bar, all wooden beams and cigarette
Within three minutes my order arrives, carried by a cheerful
teenage waitress. “Your gnocchi,” she says, in
the Italian way. Half the plate is filled with gnocchi, the
other half with roast potatoes, cabbage and boiled carrots.
This would be considered highly unconventional in Italy. I
decide to treat the plate as a two-course meal. The gnocchi
are delicious, their bland chewiness set off nicely by the
strong cheese sauce. The vegetables, my secondo piatto, are
tasty too. I decide that I’ll come again. Maybe they’ll
serve bruschette. AG