Unless you knew where to find Michael Nadra, I don’t think you’d necessarily stumble upon it. That’s what makes it such a hidden gem.
It’s nestled along Regents Canal, roughly a 10 minute walk from Chalk Farm station. It’s one truly stunning restaurant with a beautiful interior. There’s garden area too which I was eyeing up for the sunnier months. It gives off a premium, classy feel from the minute you step inside, with its mustard yellows, greens, metallics, velvets and gorgeous artworks. Our coats were taken at the door, which just set the tone for the rest of our visit too. It’s an attentive, efficient and super friendly service! The team really did make you feel special!
The menu, which is obviously what we were there for, features a handful of contemporary seasonal starters, mains and desserts as well as a set tasting menu. All the dishes sounded elegant and creative, from the sauteed scallops & squid with broccoli & cauliflower couscous & smoked paprika dressing, to the sea spaghetti & potimarron squash with romanesco broccoli, sage, yeast flakes, baby sorrel, pumpkin seed & verjus dressing.
All of the dishes arrived looking beautiful too!
Personally recommended by one of the team, the Steamed Seabass with prawn & chive dumplings, oriental greens, carrot & ginger puree & crab bisque sauce, looked like a piece of art. The seabass was super tender, the dumplings were a fab alternative to just greens or potatoes which is what I’d usually see with fish, and the buttery crab bisque sauce went perfectly. The puree was smooth and added a fantastic, fresh flavour to each mouthful.
A fab vegetarain option, the celeriac & vacherin cheese pithivier with mashed potatoes, kale & mushroom madeira sauce was indulgent and rich, absolutely delicious. The pithivier was like a flaky wellington with a super cheesy middle – it changed our mind on celeriac as the centre to a dish. The mashed potato was creamy, and the mushroom madiera sauce added to that overall wellington feel.
The Triple Cooked Chips are a must. Chunky, they were beautifully cooked and super fluffy in the middle. you also can’t have a meal without some extra greens. The Mix of Tenderstem broccoli, kale, green beans & pea shoots was fresh, a la dente and very tasty. Fab for alongside both dishes.
You cannot resist dessert in a place like this.
There are only four sweet desserts, as well as a cheese board, but it’s enough.
The Treacle Tart had a fab crumbly, buttery crust. It was sticky, but not sickly sweet, and came with clotted cream and raspberry sorbet. It was a fab refreshing change to just cream or ice cream. The raspberry went beautifully with the treacle!
The Chocolate Fondant did steal the show though. It had a fab melting middle, and was super rich and chocolatey. It comes with salted caramel ice cream which is just as indulgent and creamy.
As for what we drank alongside, well this impressed just as much…
The wine list is very extensive, with several pages highlighting all manner of red, whites and roses, reserve cellar fine wines as well as sparkling. Glasses start at £4.90, for a small glass, which is really reasonable for such a spot. We tried a beautiful glass of Sauvignon Blanc, which was recommended by the team as well as the Muscat de Beaumes de Venise for alongside dessert. The Muscat was very smooth and sweet – I loved it.
There’s also a cocktail list with a good mix of classic and signature numbers including the likes of an Amaretto Sour to a Blackberry & Sage Margarita.
The Hendrick’s Martini, a mix of Hendrick’s Gin, St Germain., honey, lemon and cucumber, had a lightly citrus, fresh taste. The honey just taking the edge off. it was delicious. The Vampire Kiss Martini, a signature cocktail created for Halloween, and kept due to popularity, was our highlight however. It consists of vodka, Henriot Champagne and Chambord and arrives in a red sugar-crusted glass. It looks beautiful and tastes even better – pretty sweet, yet beautifully smooth.
- Price: Starters are priced between £11 and £15, mains between £21 and £29, and cocktails between £9 and £11.50. It’s a little on the pricey end, but worth it for the quality and experience.
- Food: Beautiful presentation and fantastic flavours and textures. We loved everything we tried. If you’re a fish fan, the seabass is the one! But don’t forget it’s seasonal, and I’m sure everything else is just as good from the standard of these.
- Drinks: There’s an extensive wine menu (reasonably priced) and a fab cocktail menu! Get the Vampire Kiss Martini!
- Atmosphere: sophisticated and classy spot, with a relaxed atmosphere. The team are attentive and friendly.
- Wait: It was quiet the Saturday we visited, but book ahead if possible.
Have you found any new hidden gems recently?
*I was invited along to review as part of the East London Girl team. All views my own.