Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Market: A new British restaurant opens in Camden, London

It’s easy enough to make a grand entrance at Market, a new-ish restaurant in the gastro-wasteland of Camden. Simply push aside the heavy curtain and fall down the hidden step into the dining room as did I and several following customers through the course of the evening.

Fortunately the low key restaurant, with its metal topped tables and salvaged wooden school chairs (watch out for the authentic vicious Wolford-snagging splinters) has attracted a clientele who are far too busy nose down in their troughs of glorious food to take much notice of flailing guests.

Replacing a long-time Chinese restaurant on Parkway, Market couldn’t be more different in approach, with its emphasis on seasonally driven produce and daily changing menu. It’s part of a new wave of London restaurants that ape brasseries with their relaxed local vibe but serve resolutely British food: mackerel paté, pollack, pork cheeks, oysters, offal.

T & I loved our main courses: deeply flavoured beef stew & root mash for her and red curry for me (rather less curry and more fragrant coconut milk with boiled courgettes, coriander sprouts & peanuts), with a side dish of, and here's something I never thought I'd say in a review, stunning January King cabbage, although we weren’t such great fans of the somewhat hectoring owner/server who seems to have froideur as her default mode.

We finished with an ice cream which may be the best I’ve ever eaten, with delicate rosemary notes, served in an old school Duralex glass with rhubarb compote, and a textbook warm bitter chocolate cake before gloating over our very un-London like bill of £48 which included a glass of wine, bottle of fizzy water & service.