Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Up in Paddington Arms

It's the right weather for bottles of red wine, cuddling up in front of an open fire and hoeing into rich, hearty food - these are just about the only things that keep me relatively sane in winter.

And it's all on at the Paddington Arms: a refurbished Oxford Street pub offering an English take on pub grub. Colin Fassnidge consults as executive chef at this upmarket, stylish but still casual pub, which was toasty warm on the Sunday night we visited.

Roast bone marrow with celeriac remoulade and grilled bread from Paddington Arms
Kitchen, Oxford Street, Paddington
The entire back section of the pub is dedicated to the Paddington Arms Kitchen which feels like a proper restaurant rather than a pub bistro.

With the 2010 Michel Torino ‘Award’ Malbec Calchaqui Valley from Argentina warming us from the insides, it was all eyes on the grazing menu which is peppered with offal and modern English influences.

The roast bone marrow has to be the most irresistable thing on the grazing menu. It arrived on a wooden board with fat dripping off both sides, which gives a good indication of what marrow actually consists of.

This abundance of marrow is a dining rarity (usually you get a small blob) and spread on the grilled bread, it was an entirely rich and luxurious experience. We were most thankful for the celeriac remoulade, which went some way in saving us from the rich and fatty overload.

Black pudding and crumbed pork with apple salad
I didn't actually try the pretty salad featuring bloody chunks of black pudding and a nugget of crumbed pork. I'm told it was also a rich dish despite the fresh salad accompaniments.

Be warned, though, that the size of the main meals means for many an entrée from the grazing menu and even side dishes aren't necessary.

Sunday roast pork with apple sauce and all the trimmings
Sundays mean roasts at the Paddington Arms, with a weekly changing roast meat and all the comforting bits and pieces you'd expect from a Sunday roast.

We had hit roast pork Sunday so that meant roast potatoes, onions, peas and pumpkin alongside a significant helping of crackling-topped roast pork belly with apple sauce.

It was a generous serving that should sate any hungry winter appetite, with a good ratio of vegetables into the fold too.

Veal cutlet special with red cabbage and potato wedges
There was a bit of German influence with the night's special of veal cutlet: crumbed almost schnitzel style and served with spiced red cabbage and potato on the side. The veal cutlet was tender as expected with its juiciness retained within the dark crumb coating.

While I adored the flavours in the red cabbage, it was the size of some of the crunchy potato wedges that dominated interest - one of the 'wedges' I picked out of the cute cast iron pot was about half a potato.

It was nice to see the generously sized mains with all the necessary sides, ensuring that the pub retains value-for-money while visiting a standard beyond pies and chicken parmigianas.

Chocolate truffles with coffee
However, there was no room for desserts, even to share. So it was lovely to receive chocolate truffles with coffees, looking more like cocoa powder-coated brownies than the soft, melt-on-the-fingers dark chocolate truffle squares they were.

After the huge meal and wine, it was particularly difficult to leave the very warm restaurant on a wintry night. Given the opportunity and stomach capacity, I wouldn't mind spending every winter's night up in Paddington Arms.

Paddington Arms Kitchen on Urbanspoon


chocolatesuze said...

aw man i just want to dig into that bone marrow right now!!

MissPiggy said...

Oh wow, the bone marrow sounds wicked beyond belief & that roast pork with crackling *swoon*.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I'm so there for the roasted bone marrow! I tried doing it at home once and I broke my knife! :S

gaby @ lateraleating said...

Another thumbs up for the bone marrow & roast pork!

Corinne @ Gourmantic said...

These look like hearty dishes! I think I gained a kilo by looking at that bone marrow... :)

Excuse Me Waiter said...

That pork belly crackling looks fantastic! Must get myself to Paddington.

Tina @ bitemeshowme said...

You had me at the bone marrow! WOWW!! I want I want I want!!

Tina said...

Hi suze - Mmm, I think that's the feeling they're aiming for ;)

Hi MissPiggy - Yup, it's certainly not food for anyone even contemplating a diet :)

Hi Lorraine - Oh, that sounds kinda scary... Don't try this at home?

Hi Gaby - Oh, the veal was amazing too!

Hi Corinne - I ate it! Very hearty. Will be interesting to see what they do as it warms up.

Hi Excuse Me Waiter - Mmm, crackling - definitely one of my weaknesses...

Hi Tina - Yeah, I've found people either love it or hate it. More marrow for me!

tania@mykitchenstories.com.au said...

Wow looks really good value although I dont remember reading the prices. Thanks for the heads up


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