Our conclusion overall is that our disappointing second visit there can potentially be attributed to a capacity issue faced by the pub during sunny summer weekends. We went for Sunday lunch and both the outside terrace and the pub inside were at full capacity. In turn, both the service and the plates leaving the kitchen were found wanting. One plate of prawns was returned to the kitchen because they were off while a simple eggs benedict arrived at the table cold. They seemed to be struggling with the demand.
On the first occassion of our visit and on today's visit, the weekday lunchtime format sees a rather less crowded restaurant allowing the kitchen a greater focus on the food, commensurately raising the standard. On both these occasions the food has been very good indeed but stops short of being great. Accordingly, we believe that this is a great gastropub for locals but is not a destination place, certainly not for West Londoners who might be tempted to make the longer journey for a special dinner based upon The Gun's lauded reputation.
Aside of the food, the venue is quite inconvenient in many respects with no car parking facilities (and resident permit holders only on the surrounding streets) and not conveniently on the tube network with Canary Wharf being a little further than most would care to walk we think, not least because the surrounding docks block a direct route. Otherwise, Blackwall DLR is your best bet.
Much is forgiven though because this is a brilliant pub with a brilliant history. A short summary on the wall tells of its 250 years of activity as a public house including the iron foundaries that produced naval guns (hence the name I guess), Lord Nelson's visits and, more sadly, a fire in 2001. Fortunately it has been restored to its full glory. I do think though that if I were a local I would be upset that my most amazing local pub had gone so gastro that it is now so much more restaurant than pub, but that really is by the way. Finally, inside, there's much to enjoy visually with old flint guns and muskets on the wall as well as military paintings and prints. Even with the abundance of white table cloths, the sense of history is palpable, all of which adds to the occasion.
Overall, that word keeps coming back, good. It might even be joined by another word, 'very', to make very good. But it's never quite replaced by 'excellent' which is an altogether better word. And with only one glass of champagne and one glass of red wine (and no dessert), the bill came to £84, which is quite a lot for a pub lunch for two, meaning in the value for money stakes, it's not quite good enough.