Friday, 16 September 2011

3 months of eating North London: Pt 6: Made in Camden, Camden (!)

3 months of living in North London is almost coming to a close. I've come to the conclusion that despite my 70s hair and youthful 36-year-old looks, I am a) too late for Britpop in Camden and b) not cool enough for North London. Never mind, a return to middle-class, middle-aged Blackheath beckons as I ease buckets of Black Vanilla gelato down my cakehole.

Tried to get into Market to treat a couple of friends with a belated wedding present. Full. Good for them. Instead I recalled that the small plate menu at Made in Camden looked quite handy, and the reviews on London Eating were largely good - and a recent visit from AA Gill earned it 4 stars, which I'm assuming was promising. Oh my it was.

Camden Lager and imported weissbiers on the go, myself and the newly happy couple attacked pretty much the entirely of the small plate menu.

Pan-fried fennel, marinated feta, pistachio, salted caramel was laden with flavour and sticky pork belly, green papaya, mango, cashew, nam jim (new one on me that was something I'd like to repeat at home now I'm getting a hankering for doing some oriental slow cooked pork.

I jumped at the grilled tiger prawns, romesco, broccoli and garlic crisps - was interested to try some romesco and how it paired with prawns. It paired with them very nicely and the prawns took on a wonderful smoky flavour from whichever implement it was griddled on.

The complete show-stopper and my dish-of-the-year so far was the crisp-fried chicken, black vinegar glaze, carrot and miso puree. Crispy chicken - I would guess thigh meat - seemingly in panko breadcrumbs which swam in a savoury, vinegary sauce that I could have slurped on its own. Stunning, bloody stunning. We made the right choice ordering two at the start.

The lamb kefta was tremendously well-seasoned and tuna with caperberries with roasted peppers and egg almost had too many flavours! Not that I'm complaining. My only complaint was the lighting was quite low which rendered to zero any chances of poor-quality photos in ShitDixonVision. Staff were friendly and unobtrusive. My favourite type of staff. The bill for what were 9 sharing plates between the 3 of us plus a glass of wine, 2 dessert wines (which came in very small servings - probably my only gripe) and 3 beers was around £120.

Unplanned meals this good always raise a smile as expectation ahead of a meal can take the edge off an experience sometimes. I will return north of the border when I move back south just to go there again. 8. Quite possibly a 9, actually.