Odette’s – London, NW1

Housing prices in London are…well…not acceptable at the moment.  They are seemingly out of the reach from most of us right now. However, it has got me thinking.  What is that makes someone want to buy a house and more importantly…why in that respective area?

Is it being close to a park, or supermarket or deli?  Is it being near to your friends and relatives so they can dog sit/babysit at any given time?

Or do you just not like crowds in the park in summer and actually bumping into people you know when you really don’t want to is just a bore.  It seems that there are equal reasons to move somewhere as there are not to.

Or is it because you want to be near a good neighbourhood restaurant.  If so, then look no further than Primrose Hill. Odette’s restaurant on Regents Park Road champions the chic, smart, well executed division of the neighbourhood restaurant scene.

After a morning of the usual Saturday admin, Jimmy and I were due to meet a friend at Odette’s.  However, he sadly bailed on us so we went a deux and I am completely glad we did.

I also hadn’t mentioned we have been looking after another friend’s dog this weekend.  A handsome Boarder Terrier.  Odette’s very conveniently agreed for us to sit outside (on the street with him – sadly not allowed in the back garden which was a shame).

However, we sat down and looked at the menu which was very simple in its wording (I much prefer this). It just states the main ingredients themselves and not what they do to them.

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I started with Courgette & Basil Veloute, Ricotta, Pine nut and Sultana.   The waiter asked, ‘do you want the veloute served hot or cold Madame’.  What a cool touch. Obviously cold on a hot July day.

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It arrived looking beautiful with the slices of yellow courgette dazzling in the sunlight in the stoneware bowel.  The waiter then turns to a small copper saucepan and pours on the cool vibrant green courgette veloute.  The colour almost emerald like…. but what a diamond of a dish.  Cooling, deep subtle flavours.  The basil was in the form of an oil drizzled over the top it was just heaven.

IMG_5396.jpgJimmy had Cornish crab, grapefruit, avocado, hazelnut and treacle bread.  It was rich, light fragrant.  The treacle bread was very interesting.  It had a subtle almost moreish sweetness which cut through the sour grapefruit flavour which altogether only elevated the sweet flavour of the crab.  Amazing.

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For main course I had Hake, aubergine, Kalamata olive and romesco sauce.  The skin was crisp, the fish was soft and perfectly cooked.  The romesco sauce just pulled all the flavours together, the aubergine and olive… it was like a Mediterranean sensation in your mouth.  However, it wasn’t a ground-breaking dish.

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Jimmy had Welsh Lamb, potato terrine, broad beans, capers and anchovies.  Technically it was great but it looked quite brown on the plate and actually that combination has been seen a lot before.  However he couldn’t really complain.

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For pudding, we shared a Tonca bean cheesecake with English Strawberries and lemon. (Hardly able to note it as it demolished in about 40 seconds by Jimmy and I) However, even though I had watched so much ‘tonca’ on cooking shows and competitions I’d never really tasted it and actually I really like it.  It’s a very interesting flavour which I would think is tricky to balance as you don’t want too much of it.

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Throughout our lunch sitting street side firstly, if you were in the market you would definitely know what dog breed you want from the sheer amount of dog’s and their walkers!  But secondly, most of these passers-by were holding incredible looking gelatos.

After paying the bill Jimmy and I went to see what all the fuss was about.

More often than not where there’s ice cream, there’s Jimmy or me (normally both of us).  We ordered a little pot each, I had Oreo and Salted Caramel and Jimmy had Oreo and lemon.  Although the Oreo wasn’t great – there is nothing more gratifying than walking incredibly slowly down a lazy street or through a park sluggishly eating an ice cream. Dreamy.

Odettes is definitely a reason to move.  Not house, but from your sofa at your existing home into the car and getting yourself to Primrose Hill for Sunday lunch.

X 2 starter

X 2 main course

X 1 side of vegetables

X 1 pudding

X 2 coffees

Total: £126

Rating: (0-5) ***

http://odettesprimrosehill.com/

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