I’ve always been meaning to eat at North Road since it opened. The Danish chef is one of the many leading the way in using locally sourced foods, foraged plants and keeping dishes clean and effective. I hate to compare it, but the food definitely seems to have similar touches to Noma (which is not a bad thing).
I turned up for a rather lazy lunch where this Michelin-starred restaurant has an amazing offer of two courses for £22, and 3 courses for £35. Even their seven course tasting menu is a bit of a bargain at £67 although not something you probably want to indulge in everyday.
Two other tables ate during the service that I had, and their evenings definitely seem a lot more packed out.
Bread arrived in a cute little brown bag to keep the rolls warm. On of the left is a lovely crunchy, chewy brown bread and the other one a spelt bread with lots of whole grains seen throughout.
It came accompanied with a wild garlic butter (yum!) that I probably shouldn’t have finished off and a strange, caramel butter that felt a little bit too sweet to start off with. I did try it, but definitely preferred the stronger savoury flavours of the wild garlic. Super intense without lingering for the next few dishes.
For my first course, I opted for the smoked lobster and pearl barley salad. I did manage to find a shell in the salad (but it wasn’t really a problem for me) and the grains of pearl barley provided a nice contrast to the entire dish. Samphire provided a good and appropriate salty greenness to the overall dish and freshly sliced radish providing some overall lightness.
Although tempted by the beef dish, I ended up trying the dorset plaice, picked cockle, sea kale, brown butter and green strawberries. I ended up with the last piece of plaice as I heard the waiter tell another table seated after me they had run out and for me, turned out a really good choice.
The green strawberries strangely worked very well. The tart, slightly bitterness of the strawberries brought good contrast to the dish and the firmness provided by being under-ripe also helped them keep their shape amongst the other textures on the plate. They had only dabbed just enough brown butter to provide flavour but without making the entire dish too rich and heavy. Yum.
I opted for dessert which was a yogurt sorbet, malt and oat crumble. The malt reminded me of milo and the yogurt ice cream turned into the perfect way of cleansing the palette. This was a really great dish that worked very well together and my only regret was how we only had a single scoop. It was plenty of food already and, I think, very good value.
The waiters even brought me a glass of aged grappa to have with my dessert. My first thought was, “ugh”, but was amazed at how aging the otherwise “firewater” helped temper it and its cask infusing delicious qualities as well. I hadn’t asked for this, but certainly appreciated the gesture. We exchanged stories where the waiter told me more about the grappa (even bringing the bottle to show me) and I told him about the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and its location not too far from their restaurant.
I really enjoyed their service, the food was brilliant and now I can’t wait to try their tasting menu sometime. What I really like about restaurants like this is how different the food evolves as well because of their focus on seasonality. I love the way that the waiters demonstrated their passion for food and drink and it really comes through during the service.
Name: North Road
Address: 69-73 St John St, EC1M 4AN