It’s fair to say, Osip is not your average neighbourhood restaurant in this part of the world. You wouldn’t guess from the modest frontage but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes - Osip is a true farm-to-table event, with produce coming largely from the farm and kitchen garden, as well as via local suppliers.
The dining room is equally humble, but like Labron-Johnson’s cooking it highlights beauty in simplicity. A pale green leather banquette hugs one wall, contrasting against whitewashed brick and a flash of original stonework. Dried flowers hang from the walls, alongside a shelf that shows off a handful of influential cookbooks. There are white tablecloths, and crisp, white-shirted servers too, but everything is relaxed. Front-of-house manage the room with ease - never intrusive, but always on hand.
We proceed through eight courses of outstanding food - the sort where recency bias takes hold and each dish becomes your new favourite. A Jerusalem artichoke snack - steamed then fried in tempura batter, dusted in togarashi and served on a splodge of black garlic - is unique and eye-widening. It only gets better from there: creamy white onion royale with morels and vin jaune has a comforting Gallic richness to it, but interspersed with rich courses are lighter ones, like a taco of spring vegetables and mole verde, or young leeks with almond and ricotta.
We found a dessert of herb ice cream with Italian meringue to be a little on the bitter side for our tastes, but we respect the originality of the concept and sometimes, you want a restaurant to challenge your expectations. That’s part and parcel of Osip - the blind tasting menu means you put yourself in the hands of Labron-Johnson and team and on this evidence, there aren’t many places we’d rather be.