Review: Parlour – Kensal Green, London

Tim Firmager
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On a damp Thursday lunchtime, with plenty of work that needed to be completed, I popped into Parlour, the latest venue for Jesse Dunford Wood who previously worked at the Mall Tavern in Notting Hill.

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At the up and coming Kensal Green, I was welcomed into the warm space with a semi-industrial feel and led to my table. Parlour offers a cocktail called ‘Not in the Hill’, as a nod to the previous establishment. Had it not been for the rain, it would have been a perfect excuse to eat and work in the garden, but alas this is England, so I settled for a warmer indoor spot.

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Whilst deciding on what to eat, I was brought a homemade sourdough loaf and a small Americano – the perfect caffeine boost for the work ahead. The bread was most definitely fresh that day, as was the butter, and both were well presented.

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To start I opted for the popcorn chicken nuggets, a signature dish from Parlour. These mini nuggets weren’t too greasy and were very moreish. The bowl for one was easily enough to share, given the size of the main courses (we’ll come to this shortly). I also ordered a ‘Yellow Snapper Cocktail’ – a gin-based, spicy, tall drink that is sure to kick-start your day.

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For my main I opted for the Cow Pie ‘with’. The ‘with’ is actually just steamed cabbage and greens – apparently some like it ‘without’. The pastry was made with an unquantifiable amount of butter, and the green mound atop was a mixture of bone marrow and bread crumbs, which meant this was one of the tastiest, albeit most fattening pies you can eat. The meat inside was beautifully soft, flavourful and very easily devoured.

Having looked at the other options on the menu and what was arriving on other diners’ tables, there is no shying away from flavourful (i.e., dishes incorporating copious amounts of butter) here, so an elasticated waistband is recommended. But you won’t be disappointed with the flavour of anything on offer – I heard plenty of praise for the food.

After a slightly longer pause than expected, and with a now much tighter waistband, I braved the dessert menu. My first choice was Toasted Marshmallow Wagon Wheel (which is toasted at the table), but I just didn’t have the space – if you do, definitely choose this option.

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Instead I opted for the slightly lighter rhubarb water ice with custard and a brandy snap. The rhubarb flavour of the pink ice was strong enough that the second I put this to our lips, I recognised the flavour and enjoyed the playful twist of the ‘rhubarb and custard’ boiled sweet flavours that this refreshing palate cleanser offered.

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If you fancy visiting Parlour for one of their breakfasts, lunches or dinners, they are located at 5 Regent Street, London, NW10 5LG (the nearest tube station is Kensal Green).

To book or see the menus, their website is:

About Tim Firmager

Tim divides his time being a Digital Consultant in The City and as a food and travel writer across the globe. When he's not working as one of the Lifestyle Editors here at Vada, he's planning his next trip, or on the lookout for the latest food crazes or unusual foods in London's markets.