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

Yesterday, 15:01
The Back to the Future preview of Secret Cinema has been cancelled

Secret Cinema have cancelled their Back to the Future events until July 31.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:49
The two parts of the chair were inspired by the curves of an anonymous male model [Photo courtesy of Gigi Barker][Photo courtesy of Gigi Barker]

A London designer has created a unique chair designed to look, feel and smell like human skin.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:50
Planned engineering works could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Read more

Top Stories

Promotions

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.

Always wanted to create your own beer? Perfect Pint are giving you the chance.

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.

The Week subscription offer

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

Quizzes

How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
How much do you know about films in London? (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more
How much about this great city do you really know? Take our true Londoner quiz and find out (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Do you know your apples from your pears? Take our Cockney quiz and see how much of a Londoner you really are.

Read more