Harden's survey result
This “smart” Primrose Hill veteran of 40-odd years is “a most likeable place enhanced by the patina of time, and combined with inventive high-end cooking” from chef Bryn Williams, who has owned it for the past decade. It’s “always a treat” to taste the “beautiful ingredients”, which include produce from the Williams family farm in Wales; although the patron’s tilt towards a Welsh and Irish heritage means it’s “tempting here to overdo the carbs, cream and calories: Irish soda bread, cheesy choux nibbles, creamy tarts and caramel-sauced soufflés to name but a few…”
“Surprisingly good after so many years” – star Welsh chef Bryn Williams’s intimate 40-year-old Primrose Hill fixture (10 under his ownership) “has a loyal following” and under this stewardship delivers ambitious British cuisine that’s “never less than delicious”.
Bryn Williams’s “consistently excellent” cuisine is “really good value for the quality” and ensures that this well-known venue maintains its long-held reputation as “the best in Primrose Hill”. It’s “a good place for a celebration”, especially of the “romantic” variety; “book yourself in a corner and the atmosphere is lovely”.
Bryn Williams “seems to be on top of his game” currently at his “intimate” north London old favourite in Primrose Hill, with even stronger ratings this year for his “clever” and “beautifully presented” cuisine (particularly the “astonishing tasting menu”) and “exemplary” service.
|Wine per bottle||£25.00|
For many years, Simone Green ran this Primrose Hill institution with great verve and hospitality. Under subsequent owners, it lost its way, and has recently been re-launched by Vince Power. This 'Godfather of Gigs' (his words) made a mint out of his Mean Fiddler group, and has now re-invented himself in the hospitality 'space', with interests including the good-but-pricey Pigalle Club in Piccadilly, and the Spiga pizzeria in Soho.
It was once thought that Odette's too would become a Spiga, but VP seems to have decided that this was a chance to show that he could 'do' a quality traditional establishment. The old, famous mirrored interior may have been swept away, but the swish new look - elegant, cosy and not trying too hard - sits well in this picture-book corner of town.
The chosen chef, Bryn Williams, has won a lot of PR mileage out of cooking at Her Majesty's 80th, and his efforts have been glowingly reviewed in some quarters. Expectations thus raised, our meal fell somewhat short. A deeply flavoured Jerusalem Artichoke velouté was the best dish, but the accompanying bread was no more than fine. Main courses of both partridge and duck were rather uneventful. A pudding of pears with shortbread fell somewhere between admirably direct and plain boring.
If the pricing here were still of the neighbourhood-restaurant variety, it might be tempting to dismiss such reservations as quibbles. But bills here are now hefty, even for this chichi bit of town. In fact, Odette's now betrays some of the classic features of restaurants owned by media tycoons (of which Babylon in Kensington, owned by Sir Richard Branson, is a more extreme example). Your typical multi-squillionaire seems good at creating convivial places to eat. They seem to forget, however, that not everyone's wallet is as a big as their own.
130 Regents Park Road, London, NW1 8XL
|Number of Diners:|
|Tuesday||12 pm‑2:30 pm, 6 pm‑10 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm‑2:30 pm, 6 pm‑10 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm‑2:30 pm, 6 pm‑10 pm|
|Friday||12 pm‑2:30 pm, 6 pm‑10 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm‑3 pm, 6 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Sunday||12 pm‑3 pm, 6 pm‑10:30 pm|