“A newly-refurbished gastropub in your town” – it’s amazing how much that simple sentence can strike fear and delight in a community in equal measure.

While many will relish the opportunity to sample some culinary delights that go beyond typical pub-grub like surf’n’turf and burgers dripping with melted cheddar, limp bacon and cholesterol, others will only see a nail in the coffin of a traditional, spit and sawdust boozer.

Pubspy’s view is somewhere in between – done right, a gastropub can add a huge deal to an area and give a bit of variety to standardised fare. Done badly, and you’ll find yourself perched on an uncomfortable high chair, in a pretentious hole lacking in atmosphere, eating fussy-looking rabbit food from a rectangular dish.

So what does the Manor Arms, in Mitcham Lane, have to offer? Having opened in February after undergoing a pricey refurbishment (£300,000 according to reports in this paper last November) it’s now offering fancy food and high-end ales.

The first thing that strikes you as you enter is the service – it’s top-drawer. We were asked immeditaly if I just wanted a drink or was here for food and said we’d be eating later – so a table was set up for whenever we were ready to eat and were given just the right amount of attention throughout the evening.

The pub certainly looks good. It is vast but as it has been split into different sections it still manages to keep an intimate feel, with a nice, rustic wooden decor and easy-on-the-eye mood lighting. The open kitchen is the centrepiece – reminding everyone of its foodie credentials.

And what of the nosh? Well... it’s good. Not great. The macaroni cheese with herb salad (£9.50) delivered with a crunchy, thick topping, but while the pork T-bone, Waldorf salad and poached egg (£14.50) was a nice combination, the pork was a touch sinewy.

The beer’s good, the choice is wide, with four ales on tap, a host of interesting bottled beers, such as Blue Moon, and an extensive wine list. But it is fairly pricey – £4.30 for Estrella, £3.50 for Amstel.

The prices reflect the more affluent clientele the pub is targeting. Should you give the Manor Arms a go? Yes, but I doubt it will be a regular haunt for many, certainly not to go just for a drink it’s just not that kind of place. But as a bold attempt to bolster Streatham’s place on the culinary map, it should be applauded.

The Manor Arms 13, Mitcham Lane, SW16 6LQ

How the pub rates out of five:

Decor: XXXXX Very good indeed – A good use of space, large open kitchen, vintage feel, comfortable chairs with relaxing lighting. No ostentatiousness here – sometimes a real flaw with gastropubs.

Drink: XXX Good beer and a wide selection of drinks.

Price: XXX It’s aiming for affluence and, while the food isn’t too costly for this sort of thing, a few rounds will clear out your pockets.

Atmosphere: XXX A decent crowd, but not full by any means. The pub’s layout means it’s easy to hold a conversation.

Service: XXXX Excellent in terms of the attention we got. However, there was a slight lack of menu knowledge and we were charged £2.50 for bread, when we believed it to come with the meal.