Restaurant review: Season Kitchen, N4
12:17 30 November 2012
»Season Kitchen first appeared on these hallowed pages when it opened two years ago, but there are a couple of reasons why it is worth another look.
53 Stroud Green Road
Tube: Finsbury Park
Tel:0207 263 5500
Mains: from from £1195, taster menu £24
Wine from: from £14.50 a bottle
Children welcome: Yes
Disabled access: Yes, no toilets
The first of these is their “pop without the rip” policy on wines, which means a standard mark-up on all bottles, regardless of price. The menu illustrates this rather neatly by cheekily showing how much the same wine would be in other restaurants.
Our delicious rioja, a fantastic drop, was £37 – about half the price you find it in some establishments.
Secondly, the place has launched a new Sunday taster menu, which at six courses for £24 is very good value.
First up was the beetroot salad, of which I am not a great fan, but it was a nice combo with the goats curd and peppery sorrel.
Next was a slightly strange one – chargrilled oysters with buttermilk. A warm oyster is an acquired taste and for me the creamy milk didn’t sit with the coastal tang – but I appreciated the inventiveness.
The duck ham with chicory was strong tasting, quite aggressive and generally pleasing. The bitter citrus hit of the accompanying clementine was one to remember.
Heads or tails, as it was mysteriously described on the menu, was in fact a couple of blow-torched sardines.
The flesh was tender and delicious with cracked salt, and the frazzled skeleton was like a fishy crisp. Tasty, nice and light, we only left the head and tail of the fish. Which might be a clue to the name (although I am told some people wolf down the craniums).
The pork neck was fantastic; succulent well-flavoured meat, caramelised apple, and an elegant helping of crackling, kale and squash.
This was the most substantial course out of the six and pretty much the best.
I was slightly worried by the parsnip tart pud, but the vegetable’s natural sweetness came out in spades and sat alongside the vodka minimilk ice cream with aplomb.
The food at Season Kitchen is bold and inventive –some of it works amazingly well and some seems a bit over complicated.
You can’t help but appreciate the thought and effort that have gone into it, though, and the Sunday taster menu is a fantastic, and cheap, way to sample what’s offer.