Walking into Parlour was admittedly a shock to the system, long gone is the cosy; local, salty pop corn serving pub with panache for sweaty weekend nights of tequila shots and a little bump n grind on the dance floor, while prancing around the DJ booth. Now instead lies what first appears to be a bit of a soulless clinical space of white walls and white tiling as you walk in (the faint smell of paint still in the air). Luckily the space is now split into two clear areas. One designated drinking area which is where one first walks into and the other for dining which offers a cosier, more comfortable space with an open kitchen of sorts, which at least helps create a little atmosphere for now, until all the too-cool for school Kensal Greeners re discover this establishment and create their own brand of understated buzz.
I have a feeling when I was there it might not have been quite finished decor wise, it was only their first night of official trading, which also showed in the service, which was absolutely….. fine , if a little over zealous in the recommendation of the soda bread a total of 4 times (which was indeed was very pleasant, thank you).
The standard dinner menu is a delight to choose from, which is always a good starting point (there are also brunch, lunch and kids menus). There are plenty of choices for the meat eaters and the veggies, and all done with a degree of thought and skill. This is good pub comfort eating at its best. There are easy choices from Cow Pie, Home Smoked Fish Cakes and a Burger, to a good old Mac n Cheese to warm your cockles. Our sharing Pates to start where light and fluffy with various jars and small plates to keep you entertained and whet your appetite. My whole Mackerel fish was seasoned beautifully, which was a great choice is it meant I had room for dessert which was the DIY White Choc Mouse, where they bring out a siphon, squirting a light chocolate delight on a plate and then give you lots of toppings (choc bits, crushed biscuits and fruits etc) to mix in and add yourself. Sweet and messy, great fun.
I am looking forward to heading back once the word has spread a little further and there are hopefully more customers creating a touch more ambience to enhance the overall experience. I would also like to see how the garden will be used if there will be any styling to the space too in the future. Bring on the Sunday Roast review….
As for entertaining client or friends – we have to see, as far as client dinners, not sure it works, and it’s not interesting enough or pushing any boundaries but it might be just right if you were taking out a good supplier, team member or colleague then it works as a very delightful informal dinner, as long as the location works for you. As a date spot – quite possibly, I certainly wouldn’t be disappointed.
With the prices just under that of The Paradise across the road it feels like a right balance, with mains averaging around £13/14.
R.I.P The Regent, you’ll be missed but I am sure your legend will live on in our slightly hazy memories of days gone by. Let’s hope Parlour settles into its skin in the near future and finds a happy medium between good grub and service but allowing a little character to creep in….
…… Parlour (or parlor) is a name used for a variety of different reception rooms (Wiki). The name is pretty spot on then.
Open every day, for more info see their site http://www.parlourkensal.com/
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