Tucked away on a small side street, you’d be forgiven for missing this hidden gem in Kensal Green. Or perhaps you may have accidentally stumbled across it when you’ve given up queuing for Paradise, the club/bar/restaurant hybrid on the corner, and fancied a quick alfresco drink in its charming courtyard.
However, The Parlour (previously known as The Regent if you’re a local) is also a fab eatery I’ll have you know, channelling retro British favourites with a funky modern twist. Walking into the laid-back yet elegant teal coloured décor with 50s classics pumping, we’re more than ready for our culinary throwback.
Now, I’m always one to stay away from the bread basket, as I feel it takes up vital space which should be saved for the main dishes, but you’ll be a fool to turn down their fresh and warm soda bread served with soft butter. It was a dark almost treacly delight which I was quite sad to finish.
For our starters we delved into chestnut hummus via a rosemary flatbread – the hummus being an earthy yet sweet alternative to chickpeas. This was followed by raw vegetable ‘ravioli’ with goats’ cheese, which was a sight to behold. With no pasta in the dish, the raw veg parcels are beautifully accompanied by thinly-sliced kohlrabi or beetroot and decorated with cress, fresh parmesan and an array of delicate dry fruit, polished off with a scattering of flower petals. Definitely a treat for the eyes and taste buds.
For mains we picked the atomic-bomb-like chicken Kiev, which is one of restaurant’s signature dishes. We went for this seemingly lighter option over the other star dish (cow pie) as it seemed too much to handle, but neither I think is for the faint hearted. The enormous golden ball is sumptuously crisp with oozing garlic butter as you slice through, and as if that wasn’t enough, it is served on a bed of hash browns with a side of ‘slaw, which if I’m honest had a touch too much wholegrain mustard for my liking. But this take on the tea-time classic was still a triumph nevertheless. I just wish I had room for dessert!
They definitely save the best for last in terms of favourite childhood tuck-shop treats all grown-up with toasted (or in our case blowtorched at the table) marshmallow wagon wheels with a dark rich chocolate coating and classic Arctic rolls with a very novel Thai green curry flavour. Heston eat your heart out!
5 Regent Street
Tel: 020 8969 2184