La Patagonia, NW1

15:13 17 May 2012

The amazing clay oven

The amazing clay oven

Archant

A new Argentinian restaurant is always likely to stir the curiosity of someone with my gluttonous disposition, specialising as they do in great red wine and well-cooked beef.

Restaurant info:

La Patagonia

31 Camden High Street

NW1 7JE

Tube: Mornington Crescent

Tel: 0207 388 9861

Web: www.lapatagonia.co.uk

Mains: £11 (£8 lunch)

Wine: £15

Children welcome: Yes

Disabled access: Yes, but no toilet

But there’s more than those mere trifles at La Patagonia, which appeared in Camden Town a couple of months ago.

Two things stuck me as I walked through the doors – firstly the price: a fillet steak was about £10 less than at a typical restaurant.

Secondly, the oven; a big clay beast with a long chimney emerging crookedly from its head.

It lurked in the corner, belching out sweet- smelling woodsmoke across the restaurant and slowly baking dishes to delicious succulence.

Its majestic presence was well represented on the menu – many of the meat dishes were seared in a pan, before being transferred to clay pot, then shoved in the oven to soak up the beautiful charcoal flavour.

The excellent aroma pervaded the place, and I could even smell it on myself on the way home.

To begin, we had the Chicken Matambre, which to my surprise was a cold cut stuffed with garlic carrot and cheese, and was light and refreshing.

For a bit of warmth, we tried the handmade chorizo smothered in tomato sauce. While these were very pleasant, they didn’t have the smoky flavour I associate with the cured sausage.

A whole section of the menu is dedicated to dishes from that lovely oven – things like steak marinated in chimmchurri and lamb cooked in malbec – all very tempting.

In the end we had the sea bass, baked with oil and garlic and served with its head on. It was very good; soft, flaky and full of oceanic flavour.

Then the fillet, which was not as rare as you might expect, but very tender due to the excellent cut and two-stage cooking process.

It was served in a little clay pot and swimming with tangy peppercorn.

Suffice to say, I was pretty happy.

We rounded things off by sharing some traditional Argentinian Tiramasu, which was rich, indulgent and intriguingly served in a jar.

The manager, Pederico, explained to us: “I had a dream one night that all the desserts had to be in jars, then the next day made it happen.”

La Patagonia is that kind of place – very friendly and not too serious.

They don’t joke around when it comes to the quality of the food though – interesting, toothsome and very reasonably priced.

Related articles

Latest Stories

Hardip Singh found a fly in his chicken wing

A man was horrified to discover a dead fly in his Kentucky-fried chicken wing as his bit into his lunch.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:31
Syrian activists in Kafranbel pay tribute to the murdered American war journalist

The video of US journalist James Foley being beheaded by a jihadi with what appears to be a London accent has been shared millions of times around the world already.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:12
Hyacinth Brown is still recovering from the heart attack in hospital.

An elderly pastor suffered a heart attack after police burst through her door in an early-morning drugs raid which her family say was a “massive mistake.”

Read more

Top Stories

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

Quizzes

Can you find the animals hiding in London station names? (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

You may not realise it but there are animals hiding in stations across London? Play our quiz and see if you can you find them:

Read more
Can you guess the Tube station just from the outside? (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

How well do you know your Tube stations? Can you guess these Underground stops from the pictures taken outside them?

Read more
But which London?! [Photo courtesy of Basher Eyre]

You might know London like the back of your hand, but how well do you know the other Londons - and London landmarks - across the world?

Read more