North Road, St. John Street

I’m sorry to report that since writing this review, North Road has closed.

Hot on the tail of the rash of ‘nice airy Kiwi places to have brunch’, comes a small litany of ‘chic, understated Nordic places to have a posh dinner’. North’s Road’s opening has itself been somewhat understated, but its light, clean decor caught my eye as a potential pleasant alternative to the previous occupant of this premesis (the pleasing but rather dingy Clerkenwell Dining Rooms).

Faced with the unusual prospect of a free choice, I chose two of the many lighter dishes from a menu punctuated with very of-the-moment ‘nose to tail’ ingredients, smoke and burnt hay. All exciting options! We were first presented with a selection of ‘snacks’ – two gorgeous, creamy quails eggs on some of the aforementioned hay; light as an autumn-leaf pork scratchings, and as an alternative to a traditional pastry for me, a veal tartare with horseradish. This was some way to whet the appetite so I didn’t envy the small bread rolls that arrived but could not resist a taste of the caramelised butter that came with them – a taste best described like sweet salty icecream.

I chose scallops with smoked bone marrow and raw root vegetables which was presented like a scattering of pale rose petals on my white plate, tasting full of rich and light contrasts in texture, flavour and temperature. Following was a meaty fillet of cod with clams, cauliflower and brown butter mayonnaise. The finely slide cross-sections of cauli added a new dimension to the vegetable, a slight tang to the mayonnaise really set this off, but the cod was ever so slightly overcooked. I rounded things off with an intriguing smoked icecream (adapted to exclude the malt topping) and a lovely fresh mint tea.

I fully expect to see some rave reviews of North Road soon, but for now it is relatively (considering the quality) reasonably priced and getting a table shouldn’t be a problem.

Glutenfreeability 9 (great choice, knowledgeable staff)
Food 8
Service 8

One response to “North Road, St. John Street

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