22 north st

22 North Street

Open Mon midday–3pm, Tue–Thu midday–11pm, Fri midday–midnight, Sat 10am–midnight, Sun 10am–5pm

The blurb

22 North Street is an independent British restaurant, dedicated to serving the highest quality food and drinks. With a kitchen team headed up by chef Ian Lawless, their menu changes monthly to reflect the very best seasonal ingredients available, offering classics with a twist alongside creative, innovative flavours. Meanwhile, the front of house team led by Aniko Szollosi does everything in its power to make you feel at home and find your perfect match of dish and drink.

With great breakfasts, weekday lunches and amazing Sunday Roasts on offer at 22 North Street as well, it’s hard to find a reason not to go.

The style

Olivia: 22 North Street is both intimate and open in layout. With exposed brick walls, high, carved wooden chair-backs and wine glass chandeliers the main room felt modern. Which I didn’t adore. But venture behind a hidden door in a bookcase at the back and you find a smaller wood-panelled room, dominated by a massive yew table and carved Gothic chairs to seat 12.

Alex: While the private dining room is gorgeous, I loved the open aesthetic of the main restaurant—we sat right by the floor-to-ceiling window frontage, cosy in the warm light of the room yet almost on the street itself, watching bundled-up locals hurry through the chill to the pub opposite or out for the evening. The high-backed chairs, with their driftwood feel but deliberate cut-outs, not only added visual interest but helped fill the space and almost acted as a partial screen, giving tables more privacy.

Most importantly, the restaurant does not feel crowded—tables haven’t been crammed in right next to each other, and floor level changes give an added sense of removal from your dining neighbours.

The crowd

A: We visited on a Thursday night, just around the time the winter cold really started to bite, and the covers reflected this. There was a (probably local) family finishing up next to us when we arrived, and a few more tables came and went over the course of the night, but overall we almost felt as though we had the restaurant to ourselves—quite a luxury somewhere of this calibre.

Area friends say it is usually busier—often booked out, in fact—when they visit at weekends, but if you are looking for a romantic destination or somewhere relaxing to catch up with friends on a weekday night, this could be a top tip.


The food

O: I started with a hugely impressive pan-fried squid, chorizo, chickpea and mixed leaves dish, fresh as a daisy, fragrant and floating in the most wonderful aioli sauce (£7.50). This was followed by an even more impressive crispy duck leg confit with roasted parsnips and peaches, grilled cavello nero and Cumberland sauce (£16.99). The flesh was tender as it comes, and the skin crisped to perfection.

A: Duck leg confit is one of my go-to favourites, but for the sake of experimentation and review variety (such sacrifices we make!) I plumped for braised rabbit with parmesan gnocchi, Dijon cream, prunes, artichoke crisps and marjoram instead (£16.99). I had been rather ‘off’ rabbit since a dish that was simply too fatty to eat a year or so ago, so I waited with some trepidation, but my bravery paid off: the whole concoction was a creamy joy of flesh and carbs, littered with spikes of texture and flavour, from the prunes to the crisps to the marjoram.

This was after a sauteed chicken liver in balsamic and pear juice with roast pear, gingerbread and gel starter (that was as divine as it sounds; £6.99) and one thing that can’t go unmentioned about 22 North Street is that, despite being deceptively artfully scattered across the plates in the manner of tiny-portioned tasting menus, the servings are generous. I was almost bursting by the end of my main, but couldn’t let the cheese board (£8.95) go unsampled—sweet options will have to wait until another visit!

The cheeses change with the menu, but this selection of goat’s, camembert and blue, amongst others, seemed made to suit my pungent turophile tastes—and unfortunately made not to suit Olivia’s palate, which exclusively comprises an appreciation of compté and gruyère. Oops. More for me!

The drink

O: We had a jolly fine bottle of Willunga 100 Shiraz Viognier, which, despite hailing from Down Under, tasted uncannily like my favourite Pomerol. Which makes no sense at all. But there you go.

In a nutshell

O: 22 North Street is a hidden gem just off the beaten track, with wonderful, knowledgeable and friendly staff. Our waitress Jocelyn was a delight, knew exactly when to bound over and when to give us space, which dish worked with which on the menu, and which wine to pair said dishes with. Overall faultless food, faultless service but maybe hit and miss décor.

A: Décor disagreement aside, I’m with Olivia on everything—22 North Street is a real find. The menu and specials board are full of such tempting options that you wish you could return to try everything before they cycle into the next month’s dishes.

In fact I will be returning, as I booked a table for their New Year’s Eve dinner before we left—with options such as salmon mousse with crab and caviar creme fraiche or pan-fried guinea fowl supreme with black truffle jus, my mouth’s already watering.

22 North Street, London, SW4 0HB; 0203 583 3702; info@22northstreet.co.ukwww.22northstreet.co.uk

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