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Paradise Garage: restaurant review | Jay Rayner

It sums up the best of London right now, says Jay. And you don’t even need a car to get to Paradise Garage…

Paradise Garage, 254 Paradise Row, London E2 (020 7613 1502). Meal for two, including drinks and service, £120

The detail which catches my attention lies at the very bottom of the first gnarly Asiatic porcelain bowl delivered to our table at Paradise Garage in London’s Bethnal Green. It is a slick of lemon gel beneath an airy pillow of sweet pea mousse, served with halved radishes and some thick poppadom-like crackers, to get you started as you scan the menu. The unexpected hit of citrus makes me look up from the automatic process of dip and nibble and dip. Without it, the mousse would have been a fine thing: an agreeable and earthy way for chef Simon Woodrow to declare intent. But with it the whole bowl flashes and sparkles. Just as the palate risks being dulled by sugars, so it comes alive. It makes me think somebody somewhere likes me; it is the smart touch of a kitchen that’s happy to let details accumulate.

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