Paradise By Way Of Kensal Green, Kensal Green, review
- Credit: Archant
The game’s afoot at this poetic gastropub with a glimpse of paradise, says Bridget Galton.
GK Chesterton’s claim that “there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen, before we go to Paradise by Way of Kensal Green” was made in a poem that appropriately defended the joy of a tipple against the finger wagging remonstrances of the temperance crowd.
There’s never been anything puritan about the famed west London gastropub that borrows its title from the last line of Chesterton’s Rolling English Road.
Located near the junction of Ladbroke Grove and Harrow Road within sight of Kensal Green’s Victorian cemetery, its stained glass and stone angel exterior houses a temple to gastronomy and booze.
Within, cosy nooks, good cocktails and understated ecclectic glamour are the order of the day.
At the rear, its candle-lit wood-panelled dining room hasn’t changed much over the years, offering an atmospheric conviviality that’s great for a meal with friends or a date.
What has changed is the arrival of head chef, Cat Ashton, whose previous berth was at the Petersham Nurseries in Richmond.
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She’s brought something of that renowned establishment’s reverence for seasonal fare to North West London with a celebration this autumn of game.
Wild boar and gruyere cheeseburger with apple and cabbage slaw, pot roast black pepper and honey partridge with autumnal root veg, pear and sage butter are both set to hit the menu at the Kilburn Lane venue.
On the night we visited the game was not yet afoot, but we tried two signature dishes that more than passed muster.
A meltingly slow roast lamb shoulder with parsnip puree and masala jus was rich, warming and autumnal. A spiced swiss chard gave a hint of flavours from further afield.
My partner’s beautifully executed aged rib eye steak with wild mushroom and green peppercorn sauce did justice to a well sourced piece of meat.
Making it a meaty double he’d started with a lovely light beef carpaccio with lemon crème fraiche and rocket, while my seared tuna with finely diced avocado and fattoush salad was again another reminder that Ashton’s flavours roam beyond British shores.
As English as you like however are the Sunday roasts – pork belly, rump of lamb and rib of beef with horseradish served with all the trimmings, perfect for the season. Get ahead of the game and seek out those autumnal flavours.
Paradise By Way of Kensal Green, 19 Kilburn Lane, Kensal Green, 020 8969 0098. theparadise.co.uk