The Parakeet Public House & Dining Room has opened in Kentish Town, London with a menu featuring locally sourced, seasonal dishes. With Ex-Brat chef – and born and bred North Londoner – Ben Allen at the helm alongside sous-chef Ed Jennings, visitors to the 60-cover dining room can expect a selection of modern European dishes cooked over fire on their custom grill and influenced by Head Chef Ben Allen’s experience at fine dining restaurants, including Brat and the 2 Michelin Star Steirereck restaurant in Austria.
Starters on their opening menu include: Potato Bread & Smoked Butter; Poached Oyster with Pickled Elderflower; and Spider Crab Croquette. The Parakeet’s selection of main dishes will feature Braised leeks, Pecorino sauce & Smoked Mushrooms; Lamb Chop & Artichoke; Beef Rump, Braised Turnips & Nettles; Trout, Sea Herbs & Butter Sauce and Wood Roasted Rabbit, Kohlrabi & Curry Leaf along with sharing dishes of with Grilled Sea Bream (cooked over embers till crispy and lightly sprayed with a dashi vinaigrette) and Ox-Cheek (slow cooked in the wood oven overnight in a sauce made with red wine and black peppercorns). Meanwhile the dessert menu features a selection of carefully chosen treats including Rhubarb & Buckwheat Tart; Brown Butter Ice Cream; and Chocolate Torte.
‘Our opening seasonal menu at The Parakeet is informed by a European style of cooking with lots of vegetables, light, clean flavours balanced with fatty and rich proteins and using high quality ingredients from local and sustainable suppliers. This with the combination of cooking over fire creates a unique dining experience that doesn’t overcomplicate great tasting food. We’d like to think of it as relaxed, unfussy, and accessible to everybody.’ Ben Allen, Head Chef and Ed Jennings, Sous Chef at The Parakeet.
Regenerative agriculture plays a key role in the suppliers The Parakeet works with, and includes vegetables from Flourish (regenerative farm in Cambridgeshire who grow heritage species of vegetables that are farmed in a way to capture carbon and nutrients in the soil, giving more flavourful veg that are better for the planet), Matt Chatfield (The Cornwell Project raises mutton in the same way as Iberico pork, meaning female sheep are put to pasture in woodland and on herbal lays giving them a deep grassy flavour while improving soil health and capturing carbon), and Farm Wilder (Social enterprise consisting of farms which use cattle in a regenerative system and improving biodiversity).
The Parakeet also serves a carefully curated wine list, centering around biodynamic and low intervention wines – visitors can expect the list to feature selections from producers including Seasmoke, J. Rochioli, and red and whites from Jayne Ayre (former Australian hairdresser now making top quality pinot and Chardonnay in Burgundy), with cofounder Riz Shaikh commenting:
‘Our featured wines are made by wineries and winemakers that go to great lengths to ensure their practices will not impact the ecosystems they operate in. Nearly all our wines are natural, organic, biodynamic or have a commitment to hands off wine making. A personal favourite is a Babera from Pira made by Chiara Boschis one of the great female winemakers of Italy’.
The Parakeet occupies the space of the former prominent Victorian landmark pub The Oxford Tavern, on Kentish Town Road, and retains much of its local character in the pub room, which features its own separate food and drinks menu. Throughout the rooms, the interior, lighting and ornate antique furnishing have been designed to compliment the ample natural light and airy space.
The Parakeet Pub is open Tuesday through Friday from 6pm to 10:30pm, Saturday from 12pm to 3pm & 5:30pm to 10:30pm, and Sunday from 12pm to 7:30pm. For more information or to make a reservation, head over to the official website.