Heading out of Finsbury Park tube there’s not exactly a huge variety of encouraging sights, as with any tube station out of zone one, endless kebab shops and newsagents seem to line the immediate vicinity.
But one place that caught by eye when walking around in my new neighbourhood is the Season Kitchen on Stroud Green Road. It’s a five-minute walk from the tube and well worth the effort.
The restaurant boasts a changing monthly menu including only seasonal, and where possible, local produce so don’t go expecting to get the same thing twice. It also lacks the pretentiousness (and price tag) you might expect from such a message. Independently owned, the staff are friendly and welcoming and pleased to talk you through each dish and pick out something you will really enjoy.
The atmosphere is intimate with only one large dining room largely reserved for couples on a weekday night, but don’t let this put you off as the food is exciting, fresh and delicious.
I tried the sea bream with lentils and a melting sauce of anchovy and lime butter (£13.50) which was cooked to perfection and served beautifully. The fish was clearly very fresh and smelt and tasted as if it had been swimming a few hours before. Blended with the lightly fragranced herb sauce and the lentils it went down very well.
Also on the menu I tried the roast pork belly dashi, with spring greens and shitake mushrooms – for those unfamiliar with the name, it is basically a very light Japanese broth. This dish puzzled me at first, as every time I’ve tried pork belly before the most appealing part is the crispy texture. It was successful because of the delicate blend of each flavour sitting alongside each other, although it might have been better with a different meat.
To finish I had poached rhubarb with ginger shortbread and a vanilla and mango parfait (£4.95). Now I am a big fan of puddings and if it was up to me I would eat one for every course so as quite the connoisseur I can safety say this topped everything I’ve tried in recent months. It was delicate and delicious and the tangy rhubarb was sweetened by the vanilla parfait. The texture of the creamy stewed fruit with the light ginger shortbread went perfectly and I only wish I could have had more.
It’s not hugely cheap compared to other restaurants in the area but the food is of a very high quality and you can guarantee you’re not going to be served soggy strawberries in December. By visiting Season Kitchen you’re getting a culinary lesson in sustainable eating, while enjoying some very good food. Enjoy.