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Sunday, 6 September 2015

Ted finds Paradise


… yes I did ... and it was in a garage. Well I don’t know if it was ever a real garage, but I do know that Paradise Garage is a fabulous restaurant in Paradise Row in East London (let's not ask about Paradise Row's history ok).

It is sibling number four in the family of chef Robin Gill and his wife Sarah. Their first, The Dairy, was introduced to the world on St Patrick’s Day in 2013 (yep Robin is Irish). The Deli was next. Middle child The Manor followed quickly, and this year the youngest (so far) Paradise Garage arrived. The family ethos is that produce is key and a back to basics approach rules. They churn butter, bake bread, smoke and cure meats and fish, ferment stuff, make charcuterie, and grow herbs and vegetables on their rooftop above the Dairy. They keep bees that return the favour of being able to just be a bee living in rented accommodation in London without having to drive or take the tube or the bus and so they give back delicious honey for our enjoyment.

With The Doll in tow I ventured to the garage. Free things started appearing immediately and even though they included radishes (of which I have eaten rather a lot lately) I carried bravely on and was amply rewarded. The delicious bread with hand churned butter in a pool of butter milk arrived and it was so good the Doll wouldn’t let them take the crumbs away for ages. The menu format is snacks, garden, sea, land, picnic, and desert, and there’s also a tasting menu that was really really tempting.

We decided to go a la carte as it had the “picnic” which is a whole rabbit - roast saddle, confit leg, turnover (slow cooked shoulder in pastry) offal and rabbit bacon with sautéed chicory, capers, radish, rabbit gravy & artichoke piccalilli.

 I asked the waitress if two people would manage it. She looked at me (discretely at my tummy) and nodded “no problem” and then added kindly that she and her sister were going to have it for lunch next week when her sister came up to London ... so the staff bring their family here to eat ... enough said don't you reckon ...

We started with a land dish of Isle of Wight tomatoes (the spiritual home of British tomatoes) with eel jelly and nasturtiums – a refreshing balance of tomato sweet and sour, eel earthiness and peppery nasturtiums. Then the picnic arrived on such a pretty plate. It was so good that I even succumbed to the Doll’s insistence and tried some of the liver (usually I really do NOT do offal) and unbelievably I actually went back for seconds .. so hey Robin you got me.

Add to this picture fabulous desert choices, a wine list that features organic and natural, great staff who clearly really like working there and love food, and you have a super unspoilt youngest child.

4 comments:

Angie said...

Paradise indeed!!!

Geoff Wilkinson said...

That sounds like a little gem, well done for finding that...

Jack said...

A fine discovery, Ted. I would have enjoyed going along with the Doll and you.

William Kendall said...

Quite a feast!

I've seen a former garage here converted into a restaurant.

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