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Parlour, Kensal Rise, great gastro pub

We'd wanted to try Parlour before but last time they were fully booked and we ended up having a very good family meal at the Paradise next door. Subsequently we have learned to book before setting off for exotic Kensal Rise for a couple of family Sunday lunches. Parlour is at the site of an old pub, it's been sympathetically gentrified with a light open feel yet retaining the handsome exterior features and bar. There are two dining rooms, one by the bar as you enter and then through another door to the saloon with the partly open kitchen. There is also an outside patio where you can also eat. The first time we went this was quite a sun trap. I was less convinced about the tableware a lot of mismatched reclaimed/restored tables which in the case of the round table on our first visit wasn't that comfortable to eat around and the more conventional marble topped square table last Sunday threatened to tip over after some over-vigorous colouring in by Baby G. I'm hoping they replace these over time as all the faux kitsch is very 2000 and adds little to what is a very good restaurant. They open early for brunch every day so both times we have been it's had a nice buzz.

The food was pretty familiar to us as the chef Jesse Dunford Wood had previously set up the Mall Tavern near us. We were big fans of the new spin he gave chicken Kiev, cow pie and arctic rolls. However up first for us was their superlative home cured salmon and fresh baked soda bread. So simple but oh so delicious. For me this is the best starter in London. Baby G could have quite happily polished off the salmon himself but I love it combined with the bread. It's quite filling but we found room for our roasts. I had sirloin of beef both times but my lovely wife had chicken once and then beef. The portion is ample and possibly needed a bigger plate. So along with a couple of huge slices of beef I had roast potatoes, cabbage, carrots and a big old Yorkshire. Extra gravy was bought along unbidden and they even grated fresh horseradish over the lot. It was very nice indeed particularly the yorkshire. Baby G had a really nice dish of homemade fish fingers with broccoli and wolfed the lot. We washed this little lot down with a highly commendable Bloody Mary (apple juice for baby G). Another good touch was the tap water ready and waiting on the table.

Both times I've managed to make room for dessert as they always sound so intriguing. First time I shared a fruit ice with my lovely wife. It was a mix of ice crystals flavoured with raspberry and mint. Really lovely after a big meal, so refreshing. Last Sunday I tried the lemon and ginger posset which was fantastic my lovely wife said it was the nest she had tasted. It also came with a couple of very cute homemade jammy dodgers. Service is very good despite a fairly long wait for mains during our second visit. The room is presided over by a very nice older lady who ensures everyone is looked after and that Baby G had plenty of crayons. Clientele as you would expect is very hipsterish, lots of middle aged dads dressed up as 20 somethings. I daren't wear any Gant in here! It's not exactly cheap with roast coming in at nearly £20 but you get a lot of very nice food for your money. We all really enjoyed both our meals and would definitely go back.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Overall rating
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8

Really good place, we've been a few times. It offers you a different experience to the usual gastro pub Sunday roast 101. Parking around here during the week and Saturday can be a real ball ache so we only pop up here on a Sunday. 

Elliot's Cafe, Borough Market, great little place

Shoryu Ramen, Soho, I go here at least once a fortnight it's consistently good