All reader reviews by roughafro
Having been a resident of N1 for all of my life, the re-opening of The Northgate pub on Southgate Road, after months of closure has been greatly anticipated.
The new owners, also locals, have retained the previous chef; seemingly adhering to the mantra “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The menu is a varied and exciting combination of dishes and flavours, not relying too heavy on a single type of cuisine, but merely on high-quality, well sourced ingredients. This is a far cry from the tired ‘gastro-pub’ menu, which after years of over-exposure can make an establishment seem predictable and unimaginative, something the Northgate menu could never be.
The interior of the pub has been tastefully redecorated, with the basic layout remaining the same. If anything it feels far cosier than its previous incarnation which didn’t want to encourage’ pub’ people; more ‘bar’ people. To the rear of the building is the restaurant, served by an open galley kitchen. This system works well as the customer can chose between eating in the bar area or having a more intimate experience and being waited on in the restaurant. I will personally always chose to watch a chef work, and on the evening that I ate there, the two chefs worked tirelessly and meticulously producing food of such a consistently high standard and almost dancing around each other in the process.
The staff and management were professional and made a point of welcoming us and engaging with both myself and my partner. There was a substantial wine list (I recommend the white Rioja) and a choice of over 5 draught lagers and 3 ales. The music was at just the right volume to allow conversation whilst creating an atmosphere and the customers seemed to be a good balance of young professionals and older ‘locals’. Having been tempted to physically lick my plate clean, I will definitely be returning for another serving of pork belly and feel the need to explore the rest of the menu if this is the standard of cooking.
Sunday lunch can get busy and they do a killer brunch on a Saturday, great for curing a hangover. As for me I have found my new local, tell your friends, the Northgate is the new kid on the block.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 10