Hi lovely readers, if you read the blog I posted yesterday about my visit to the dessert heaven known as Cafe Royal, you might have noticed that I mentioned my trip to Barcelona in a few days. My next blog was meant to be from sunny Barcelona. But alas… It’s going to be from a place beginning with the letter B. Yes, that lovely place called Bethnal Green. I’m sure some of you might be scratching your head while looking for Bethnal Green on a map. Well, Fear not. Think of the central line and imagine it heading past Liverpool Street and boom..you’re in Barcelona…I mean Bethnal Green. What it lacks in monuments, arts and the finest Iberica Ham, it more than makes up for in some very good restaurants. I had the fortune of visiting one of those restaurants, Paradise Garage, today. I knew about Paradise Garage on paradise row courtesy of a review penned by Jay Rayner in the guardian last year. The review was quite positive so it was a restaurant I always kept tucked in the corner of my foodie heart. I should say that after visiting this restaurant, I can see why the reviews were impressive. The ambience, music, relaxed athmosphere, interaction of the staff and complex flavours of the experimental dishes were of a high standard indeed.
Now am gonna be honest with you. I really couldn’t make out what was in some of those dishes ( I asked the waiter a few times) and I couldn’t hazard a guess about what the flavours would be like while picking it ( Grilled leek, federia mousse and toasted buckwheat ? Portobello mushrooms, bagna cauda, raw turnip and rye? ) but alas, when I finally had a taste, they made a convert out of me. All you need to know is that they all tasted great. Now, you can either go for the tasting menu or a 4 courses selection off the menu for £26. We went for the latter and opted for a £55 bottle of white wine ( Siveringer ) picked by the waiter. So without further ado, let’s look at a few pictures
Lamb heart, fennel kimchi and black pepper
Soft cod brandade, squid ink, olives and shellfish crisps : This dish was ridiculously moorish. The squid and cod was a match made in heaven
From the Garden section of the menu, we went for the :
Portobello mushrooms , bagna cauda, raw turnip and rye
Did I mention that I love taking multiple shots of dishes I like at times. Pretty bad I know 🙂
Tilleys farm egg, January king cabbage, kale, preserved Lemon : one of the day’s highlights I reckon.
From the Land section of the menu, we opted for the
Daphne’s Welsh lamb, artichoke, aubergine, winter tomato and monks beard : I loved the artichoke and lamb combinations. Gives me shivers thinking about it.
And from the Sea section, we opted for the
Lady Hamilton’s cod, confit salsify, hazelnut ketchup, mussels and spinach: Another very good dish. The dish was fresh and light, with the hazlenut ketchup giving it that lift in terms of flavour.
Both land and sea options were just simply amazing. For the desserts we opted for the
Yorkshire rhubarb, black olive samolina cake and olive oil ice cream : This combination of flavours really hit the mark. My friend purred while eating the olive oil ice cream, so I only managed a spoon or 2 of this dessert. More than that and I might have lost my fingers. That wasn’t a joke by the way.
The rye doughnuts, beer cream, milk ripple and grapefruit I went for was also very good. It took me a few seconds to get used to the beer ice cream though I have to say. I can still taste the sweet tanginess of the grape fruits. Quite interesting flavours happening with this dish. The more I ate, the more I actually got to appreciate what the chef was trying to do with this dessert. So top marks.
To top off our time at the restaurant, we also got to try out some weird fruit picked by the waitress off a plant placed in the bar area. I still can’t remember what it was called. The darn stuff was quite bitter, but it made for an interesting discussion. If you ever get to visit, make sure you ask someone to pluck the fruit for you out of curiosity 🙂
So there goes my time at Paradise Garage. I absolutely loved it, which means another visit in the not too distant future. So once again, look out for the Barcelona blog post in a few days…well unless someone invites me to Bethnal Green again.
See you soon