And it's all on at the Paddington Arms: a refurbished Oxford Street pub offering an English take on pub grub. Colin Fassnidge consults as executive chef at this upmarket, stylish but still casual pub, which was toasty warm on the Sunday night we visited.
|Roast bone marrow with celeriac remoulade and grilled bread from Paddington Arms |
Kitchen, Oxford Street, Paddington
With the 2010 Michel Torino ‘Award’ Malbec Calchaqui Valley from Argentina warming us from the insides, it was all eyes on the grazing menu which is peppered with offal and modern English influences.
The roast bone marrow has to be the most irresistable thing on the grazing menu. It arrived on a wooden board with fat dripping off both sides, which gives a good indication of what marrow actually consists of.
This abundance of marrow is a dining rarity (usually you get a small blob) and spread on the grilled bread, it was an entirely rich and luxurious experience. We were most thankful for the celeriac remoulade, which went some way in saving us from the rich and fatty overload.
|Black pudding and crumbed pork with apple salad|
Be warned, though, that the size of the main meals means for many an entrée from the grazing menu and even side dishes aren't necessary.
|Sunday roast pork with apple sauce and all the trimmings|
We had hit roast pork Sunday so that meant roast potatoes, onions, peas and pumpkin alongside a significant helping of crackling-topped roast pork belly with apple sauce.
It was a generous serving that should sate any hungry winter appetite, with a good ratio of vegetables into the fold too.
|Veal cutlet special with red cabbage and potato wedges|
While I adored the flavours in the red cabbage, it was the size of some of the crunchy potato wedges that dominated interest - one of the 'wedges' I picked out of the cute cast iron pot was about half a potato.
It was nice to see the generously sized mains with all the necessary sides, ensuring that the pub retains value-for-money while visiting a standard beyond pies and chicken parmigianas.
|Chocolate truffles with coffee|
After the huge meal and wine, it was particularly difficult to leave the very warm restaurant on a wintry night. Given the opportunity and stomach capacity, I wouldn't mind spending every winter's night up in Paddington Arms.