The Parakeet

British, Gastropub·
££££
·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of The Parakeet

Silver Award

A new gastropub opening in the capital isn’t, in itself, a cause to turn heads, but when two former Brat chefs are recruited to lead the kitchen charge, it’s hard not to blink an eye. This British boozer in the heart of Kentish town is exactly that: a glass-clinking cacophony of after-work chit chat and general busyness at the front of the venue, with a slightly more civilised restaurant tucked away at the back.

It’s a stunning room with huge windows, emerald-green banquettes, colourful stained glass and an open kitchen inset into wood-panelled walls. We’re directed towards a blackboard on the wall for ‘today’s menu’, which changes regularly with the seasons and hence does away with the need to endlessly reprint menus. It’s a nice nod to the pub’s sustainable ethos, which prizes regenerative agriculture, zero-waste cooking and working with local suppliers above all else.

The menu revolves around a sharing concept and once we order, plates arrive promptly. Spider crab croquettes make an indelible first impression: creamy crab bechamel encased in a yielding crisp coating. Elsewhere, flickers of Brat’s flame-imbued flair emerge again and again. There is, of course, the majestic wood-roasted sea bream – its signature dish – which is unapologetically reminiscent of Brat’s famous whole turbot, and close on quality, if you ask us. It’s an unworldly-soft, pearlescent piece of craftsmanship available for the criminally good price of £34. Further fire-licked fare includes squashy potato bread served with smoked butter - the consistency of whipped cream - and blackened charcoal leeks smattered with rich dollops of pecorino sauce. Squash with beans and blood orange is the most surprising of the lot, an uplifting plate of soupy cannellini beans crowned with tempura butternut. Finally, a powerfully bitter chocolate torte somehow functions as a palate-cleansing end to our meal.

To drink, a considered biodynamic wine list fits on two sides of A4, although we opted for a delicious and seasonal blood orange spritz. We have only exemplary things to say of The Parakeet – this is one of the finest gastropubs in London.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
British, Gastropub
Ambience
Cool, Cosy, Lively, Traditional
Other Awards
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch, Sunday roast
Special Features
Gluten-free options, Vegetarian options
People
Celebrations, Child friendly, Special occasions

About

Joining London’s burgeoning gastropub ranks, The Parakeet is a pub and restaurant in Kentish Town that pairs natural wines with seasonal British cooking. This old Victorian pub was previously called the Oxford Tavern, but the site was taken over by The Columbo Group - the group also behind the Blues Kitchen, the Jazz Cafe and Brixton club Phonox.

Behind the stoves are two former Brat chefs - Ben Allen and Ed Jennings - and they bring some of the same sensibilities from their previous restaurant to the menu at The Parakeet. The menu is packed with seasonal British cooking, with dishes set to change regularly and feature British ingredients at their seasonal height. At the heart of the kitchen is a custom-made grill, and much of the menu will be cooked over fire and smoke in some form. This is a style of cooking the pair are familiar with thanks to their time at Brat - arguably the restaurant that has done the most to popularise open fire cooking in London.

The Parakeet’s signature sharing plates will be built around ox cheek and bream - a riff on Brat’s famous beef and turbot sharers - but there’s plenty more besides in the form of dishes like oysters with sea buckthorn and kohlrabi, braised leeks with pecorino and smoked mushrooms, and duck with salsify and figs.

The dining room itself seats around 60 people in total, but there’s a separate bar which operates more like a traditional pub, and features a separate food and drink menu. Meanwhile, the wine list focuses on natural, organic and biodynamic wines from smaller independent wineries, treading a path that is very in vogue in London at the moment.


FAQs

Does it do a Sunday roast?

Yes, Sunday roasts are served with all the trimmings.

Helpful? 0

Is it vegetarian friendly?

Yes there are vegetarian options available on the main menu

Helpful? 0

The Parakeet is featured in

Location

256 Kentish Town Road, Kentish Town, London, NW5 2AA

020 4599 6302 020 4599 6302

Website

Opening Times

All day
Mon 12:00-00:00
Tue 12:00-00:00
Wed 12:00-00:00
Thu 12:00-00:00
Fri 12:00-00:00
Sat 12:00-00:00
Sun 12:00-22:30

Reviews

Share your thoughts with other diners

Write a review

Book a table

Find a table

Other restaurants we like near The Parakeet

Check availability