Honey and
food and travel

Saturday, 26 August 2017


Our penultimate night on our trip back home, we unexpectedly managed to get both our families together. Where can you find a table for nine people at short notice for a Friday night in London? I thought we were on to an impossible task, but somehow, by some lucky occurrence, perfectly-located (for us, not for the rest of the world. Its location behind the McDonald's on City Road, is actually a little upsetting) Sardine had space for us all.

On this beautiful summer day, Sardine provided the perfect opportunity to imagine we were all on holiday in the South of France, rather than by City Road. I imagine that on less gorgeous summer days, stepping into tiled, sleek Sardine would be a welcome escape from this typically grey, drizzly city.

As there were so many of us we were on a set-ish menu. Shorter than the normal one, but there were still choices. We started with the prettiest array of appetizers to fight over amongst ourselves. There were plenty for everyone, but we're a greedy lot, so fight we did. Colorful crudités with a garlicy, rich anchoïade (see the photo above!); delicate slices of Jésus Basque salami; salty, satisfying more-ish brandade toast.

We were then split between ajo blanco & melon and chicken liver parfait. If you like chicken liver parfait, that was great. I don't love it, but I did love the bowl of creamy, satisfying chilled gazpacho-y soup, with sweet chunks of melon dotted around the center.

By this point, we'd all fallen in love with Sardine. We were sipping on carafes of the wine 'on tap' (both the white and red were elegant, dangerously drink-able, and a perfect match for the simple yet perfected food) and our loud voices echoed round the space.

Everything continued to get better and better. The options for mains were rabbit Leg, borlotti beans, rocket & mustard, i.e. hearty comfort food, brightened by greens and tangy mustard. Cod, clams & saffron stew, courgette & anchovy toast may not have been beautiful, but was the ideal fish stew: bright, messy, and full of seaside dreams. Girolles, grilled polenta, rainbow chard & crème fraîche was earthy, with a total array of textures: crispy polenta, soft mushrooms, almost crunchy chard, and velvety crème fraîche.

And yes, you better believe that after all that we had dessert. Yes, we were already full, but there'd been a beautiful apricot & brown butter tart sitting on the counter of the open kitchen staring at me all night, so everyone needed a slice. It was perfect. Yes. Totally, utterly, completely perfect.

Sardine, 15 Micawber Street, London, N1 7TB

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