Paradise Garage is the third restaurant opening from chef Robin Gill. Unlike The Dairy and The Manor which are both south of the river in Clapham, Paradise Garage lives in Bethnal Green inside a converted railway arch on Paradise Row. With The Dairy and The Manor consistently delivering the most exquisite tasting menus on the planet, as soon as I spotted Paradise Garage was officially open for business I cancelled reservations elsewhere and booked a Saturday lunch sitting. As we settled in for the afternoon we were treated to a complimentary cocktail and an appetiser of pea purée, peppery radishes and paper thin shards of potato cracker.We were lucky to be benefitting from a promotional 25% off the bill to celebrate opening weekend, which meant the tasting menu (made up of 10 separate dishes) was all ours for just under £34. Even at full price there is no doubt I’d continue to recommend anything created by executive chef Robin Gill (yep, I’m a super fan).
As we were personally recommended a bottle of white wine best matched for the dishes ahead, a tray of sourdough bread arrived at the table. Accompanied with a dish of smoked whiskey butter and beef and pork salumi. I can’t help but compare the butter to the wonderful savory chicken butter served at The Manor, but it was up there. My table manners went out the window as I started dunking the bread into the remaining juices.Two sharing plates of grilled sweetcorn and salt cod branade were next to arrive. The grilled sweetcorn was perfectly charcoled, served with crunchy hemp seeds and drizzled in oil. Salt cod brandade is a wonderful creamy dip with a deep taste of the sea – served against a powerful squid ink, green olives and a shellfish crisp – it was one of those dishes which makes you think “how an earth did they come up with this?”. There is no denying that every dish looks as good as art. The stone plate hosts each element of the dish so well. The yellow courgettes ribbon worked well with the pickled and dried courgettes. A handful of salty clams fell out of their shell ready to be eaten as they picked up a taste of the rich herb oil on the surface of the plate.Next up was an earthy globe artichoke and mild padron pepper with fresh curd, herb & chilli salsa. We were reminded not to eat the leaves of the artichoke which was a good thing because I honestly wouldn’t have known otherwise!The next dish was probably my favourite as it incorporated so many of my favourite flavours. A portion of charred mackerel, smoked cod roe, pickles & a rice cracker. The smoked cod roe was so good. Pickled samphire, cherry tomatoes and cucumber were a brilliantly tangy accompaniment.I thought that the last dish was my favourite until I tried the next, a factor which makes tasting menus so enjoyable. ‘Daphne’s Welsh’ lamp rump was served pink on a bed of peas, charred cabbage, sour preserved lemon skin and a delightfully warm sweetbread (offal) completing the dish.Despite dining with a cheese-hater, I had to order the selection of Neal’s Yard cheeses (for two!). Paradise Garage kindly plated me up a portion of blue cheese, hard cheese and goats cheese for one. I very much enjoyed it, begging my dining partner to try a piece after each heavenly mouthful. (I had no luck unfortunately!)A palette cleaner of cucumber sorbet with melon balls and a dehydrated melon crisp arrived at the table before dessert. It was super cold and extremely vinegary but very refreshing and light.The finale came in the form of caramelised white chocolate ganache with strawberries, raspberry & lemon verbena. It was a truly awesome dish and the perfect ending to what had been another incredible tasting menu from Robin Gill.Paradise Garage will open officially Tuesday 21 July 2015 at 254 Paradise Row, London E2 9LE. They are running a soft launch offer from Friday 17 July to Sunday 19 July with 25% off the total bill (food AND drink). For more details, follow them on Twitter @ParadiseRow254.
ADDRESS: 254 Paradise Row, London, E2 9LE
OPENING TIMES: 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 10pm weekly, except closed sunday evenings, all day monday and tuesday lunch
CONTACT: For reservations call 02076131502 or email firstname.lastname@example.org