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Best local Indian Restaurant in Essex 2014
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Review

Parlour

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Parlour
5 Regent Street, Kensal Green,
London
NW10 5LG
Tel: 020 8969 2184



Is the Parlour a pub? A gastropub or perhaps just a restaurant? Well, let’s not split hairs and say that it’s a modern British restaurant that just happens to be located in a charming old pub. In fact, with its butcher’s tiles, leather banquettes and dark wood panelling, the establishment even plays up its pub-like roots by offering an excellent range of beers. But it’s the food where the action is at!

First off, you are better off getting the “chef’s” table to be up, close and personal to all the theatricality that chef Jesse Dunford Wood. Yes, theatrical being the operative word because boy, oh boy, does he like to put on a show with all the verve and showmanship he can muster! Not so much in that he’s a performer, but more so in the style and presentation of his cooking.

Pleasingly, in most cases it works, albeit not always – both in the oodles of style he brings and flavour.

Starters are collectively a great success: chestnut hummus with rosemary pitta bread, popcorn chicken nuggets (yes, don’t miss!)and a rather inventive raw vegetable “ravioli with goats’ cheese. Each item flourishes with its own personality and is all the more welcome. Where the menu sadly fails is in the guide of the anti-climactic mains - from the chicken kyiv to the fishcakes with mange tout and ‘caviar’ tartare – all leaning on the stodgy and lacking in finesse. Portion sizes should also aspire to less is more.

However, the chef pulls back up again with a masterful stroke of dessert – or should one say several desserts - which can only be described as something out of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! A plastic sheet is laid on the table, dry ice is dispersed into the air and then Wood gets to work by “painting” on the desserts – from an assortment of ice creams to Battenburg cake and from various flavours of jelly to yoghurt and much, much more. It’s an orgy of utter sweetness and a fine example of Wood’s flair and talent.

By Humayun Hussain