Monday, 11 February 2008

The Island

And here's some information about College's Road, The Island.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

The Paradise

This pub was refurbished a year ago or so, and as far as I could tell - as a occasional visitor - it involved sprucing up what was there, making it a bit more flash, emphasising the restaurant, adding a dance venue on the 1st floor on Sat nights, and -- and here I will disagree with guys at Beer in the Evening - improving it.

As a pub I think it is a perfectly pleasant place to drink wine or lager, perhaps not bitter, in generally attractive surroundings. As a club, a place to dance, I've only been once (it was my birthday, so I wasn't too old for one day) it was great fun.

But most of all I like it as a restaurant. I've been twice, for the second time tonight, and both times the food has been brilliant. Tonight we had (main courses only) skate wing, lamb with clams, and cod. We all agreed it was lovely - my girlfriend's skate was 'pillowly', tasting of garlic and adorned with Morecambe Bay shrimps, and with the most fantastic mashed potato. My lamb was, unusually, served with clams, but I imagine much like Guinness and Oysters, it worked beautifully, with the sweet lamb (and a kind of potato Dauphinois).

I would also like to commend the staff. The - I am not sure what to term to use, but I'll use this one - Maitre 'd, both found us a table early (as he knew we were waiting) and gave us a running commentary on the source of the food, the chef and the ideas. He really made the evening. The waiter too was as good as you could imagine, and also a great laugh.

So I can't really recommend it highly enough for food. Prices are moderately expensive, say £12-£15 for a main course and £4-£7 for starters/deserts. An interesting and varied wine list starts from about £13.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Press release time

The Regent, down Regent Street, is advertising its new burgers. I've not tried them, but I quite like the Regent, but during the day or in summer, not when it gets a bit busy.

I would take issue with the claim

The brothers have turned what was once an unloved old boozer into an open plan ground floor pub with a home-from-home feel.

The pub before was called Astons, which was a sister pub to one in West Hampstead. At the time I lived in West Hampstead, and we thought Astons was great when it first opened. It went downwhill rapidly and was shut down, but the one in Kensal Green lingered longer and even two years ago was going strong, looking much like the Regent does now.

Update: Sorry about lack of posts. Have some on old pictures of Kensal Rise and fantastic Italian and Portuguese delis to come, albeit perhaps not in the next few days.