Kentish Town is a place most visited by non-residents for gigs at the HMV Forum, so there’s always a regular influx of young music fans visiting to see acts such as Wu Tang Clan, Hydro Da Hero and Young Dirty B*astard. We doubt enjoying a delicious meal before the gigs is particularly high on the agenda for such visitors, which is a shame, because on the doorstep of The Forum is Kentish Canteen, a gem of a venue providing great food in a lively atmosphere.
Kentish Canteen offers an all-day haven for anyone wanting a relaxed break from the world. Brunch is served 12 till 4pm, cakes and baked lovelies can be taken any time and dinner is served till 10.30pm. The owners, Owen Crinnigan and Wendy Sinclair also own PJ’s Bar and Grill and Guanabara in Covent Garden where they are in the thick of the touristy bustle. Up in Kentish Town they can ease up a bit and do things their way. Head chef John Cook, ex-Vinoteca, cooks up unpretentious, seasonal and deeply flavoursome food with an emphasis on provenance. The central ‘larder table’ al a Ottolenghi is piled high.
While the menu changes often, expect to see generous platters of Serrano ham with Spanish tomato toast, Heritage tomato salad with oozy mozzarella & basil oil or Butter bean houmous with broad beans & crostini to start. Equally fresh and seasonal mains might include Sea bream with sliced fennel & orange salad or Roast rump of lamb with Lyonnais potatoes & purple sprouting broccoli. Puds like Lavender creme brulee or a very reasonably priced cheese selection at £6 might also be tempting. Massive starter portions and a heavy presence of full-on salads means that a post-work bottle of wine and a quick bite should hit the spot and cost you a little over a tenner each.
The Kentish Canteen is bright and breezy, affable and affordable. Maybe Young Dirty B*astard groupies would love it too?
Cuisine type: British/Mediterranean
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £44
300 Kentish Town Road
020 7485 7331