Friday, 31 December 2010


Shortly before Christmas we ate dinner with friends at a new restaurant in Finsbury Park called Season Kitchen.  I wouldn't usually think of Finsbury Park and modern british cuisine together but I love new discoveries and especially those a little more out of the way. Its much more exciting and I think takes a lot of confidence to set up shop away from the established food hubs and trade solely on word of mouth, quality of food and service.

Season Kitchen is what it says on the tin. An ever changing menu of locally (or a close as possible) sourced ingredients of seasonal meat and vege presented in what they describe the modern british style.

I suppose modern british means taking a little more care when you're cooking your bangers and mash with presentation, flavours and sourcing of produce. Its also a combination of styles of cooking so you'll find a bit of French, Italian or Asian influence depending on the dish. The food was hearty, warming, the menu thoughtful, varied and true to their ideals.

As a starter I had the dry spiced beef with apricot & almond chutney followed by partridge, pear, parsnip and pig.
The dessert menu did sound delightful, I could have done with a rosemary and chocolate pot with black pepper biscotti but in true british style the first 2 courses were rather filling and I'd already had to undo the top button of my jeans. We all opted for a liquid dessert instead, myself a Laphroaig whiskey. I have in the past year begun to increasingly enjoy my whiskey, usually playing it safe with a Jamieson neat or mixing it with gingerale. This was Scotch whiskey like my Dad would drink, it was powerful, smokey and with an after taste something like over cooked bacon. I'll get used to it.

The Season Kitchen has small dining room that would fit about 25 guests, it was quiet when we arrived and soon filled up.  The decor was particularly striking. Stylish and quirky lamps and prints from Rocket St George. The bird lamp above was one of my favourites as was the knitted clock.

The chefs were obliging with particular dietary requests and our waiter  knowledgable when it came to the wine list. All in all the service was attentive and informative if not a little forgetful. (We did have to be asked a couple of times how we wanted our steak cooked)

I was pleased with my starter, the beef and chutney a glorious combination of sweet and savoury and also with the chicken liver & walnut pate which I tasted as well. That reminded me of a creamy terrine you might have in France and I love those, although the dish can be a little over whemling as its rather decadent.

Chicken liver & walnut pate with toast and sweet red onion

Dry spiced beef with apricot and almond chutney

 Partridge pear parsnip and pig

Roast pumpkin curry with spinach, peas and basmati rice

I was slightly under whelmed with the partridge, I suppose I was a little afraid by how pink it was although Nick loved it and assures me this is normal for game. Its not that I don't like a bit of blood,  I was salivating over the rare steak on my friends plate.  I'd say the meat was a little flavourless, the accompaniments really made it. Gravy smothered sweet sparsnip and pear gave it its flavour, while the meat looked fancy I think I would have preferred chicken.

A pleasant evening had by all and I'd recommend as a good local option. Cost wise it was fairly reasonable 2 courses, plenty of wine and a whiskey in place of our dessert, we paid £35 each.

3 Gourmet Lovers hearts for the Season Kitchen.


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