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The fishcakes at Fortess Road’s longstanding gastropub only reminded Mrs Kentishtowner of why she always avoids those pesky piscine throwbacks



Hello again. It’s been a while. How is everyone? We’re happy to report that the Kentishtowner’s staycation was a success, despite mostly sullen skies, and took in Whitstable’s oyster shacks, our very own cottage in Deal, and the sweeping beaches of North Norfolk, where – good God! – the sun actually shone and, on Holkham Bay, Mrs KT did her ‘hilarious’ Shakespeare in Love impersonation.

And we’ll confess that we’re still very much in holiday mode, which has meant cracking open the wine at midday and tucking straight back into NW’s more salubrious eateries (yes, The Vine and Made In Camden again!)

Today, however, we wish to offer fresh thoughts on that old Fortess Road stalwart, The Junction, and, in particular their reasonably well-priced £16 two course set Sunday lunch. (Here’s a crappy interior pic Mrs Kentishtowner took as she balanced a glass of superior Pinot Noir/Gamay rose in the other hand):

Exactly.

Anyway, overall we were quite charmed by food, wine and service, and particularly enjoyed the smooth butternut squash & white bean soup, and crispy roast pork belly. But whilst a tangily-dressed fennel, pea and spinach salad was perfect, the accompanying fishcakes only reminded Mrs Kentishtowner of why she always avoids those pesky piscine throwbacks. “Chef!” she bellowed, “I do not wish to consume a mere potato cake!” But alas, in the open kitchen, Chef appeared to ignore her, perhaps too busy stirring butter into mash, or forgoing poaching the haddock.

In other news we’d like to plug The Star (47 Chester Road), tucked away on the outer fringes of NW5. It was our first visit and, on a grey bank holiday sunday, so quiet you could hear the rustle of an Observer Review. Support it, you lot! What a lovely tiled bar, with its pendant lights and high ceilings (and no, we didn’t take a snap. Mrs Kentishtowner was having One Of Her Moments).

Oh, and whilst we’re doing food, what’s the word on street about the Lion & Unicorn? Reports are, I think it’s fair to say, mixed. And people have been tweeting too this week about Gulshaan – anyone fancy reviewing it?

In fact, it’s time we did an NW5 curryhouse special. Send any opinions or comments below and they’ll all be included with full accreditation (natch). A demain.


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  • Tom Williams (@twilliams81)

    The Junction also does a very decent steak in the evening. Thoroughly recommend the Black Shiraz though

  • nellefant

    I’ve always absolutely loved Bengal Lancer for curry, really interesting dishes. Staff are lovely, too. Only gripe – it’s a bit overpriced, so we only go on special occasions nowadays. I’ve tried Gulshaan which was tasty enough but a bit too small inside for comfort!

  • Alexa

    Love this post, love these pubs! The Junction is my local – the steak is always amazing too. Have you tried the Lord Palmerston on Dartmouth Park Hill? Also great food. The Star is a pub close to my heart – we had our wedding reception there last year. They were absolutely fantastic, great atmosphere, yummy food and drink, fab staff. Gorgeous pub. Hurrah for pubs of KT!

  • Kentishtowner

    Yes, Bengal lancer used to be a favourite – although we haven’t been for aeons. And glad the steak comes recommended at the Junction. Alexa, check out our post on the Palmerston – we love it but haven’t been for quite a few months so let us know what it’s like now (apparently there’s been a few changes of chefs!)

  • Laura Murray (@StarbarMurray)

    Admittedly, ambience/ decor inside Gulshaan isn’t up to much but the curry is second–to-none in my opinion. As for the Lion & Unicorn – I spent all of Saturday afternoon there. The starter salads are so miniscule, they barely exist – not worth ordering at all. Then had a sausage sandiwich and chips special – way too greasy (maybe I should’ve expected this…?) – and a very nice posset for puds. After a couple of hours and only couple of glasses of prosecco, I got really vomitty-sick which I kinda (maybe irrationally…) blame on the greasy sausage sandwich. Not keen to try the food there again. I like that they have 3 (I counted!) pieces of my brother’s street art framed on their walls but overall, the decor has kind of failed to strike the cosy/ modern balance they’re attempting.

    Conclusion: not a touch on their sister pub Lord Palmerston, food not great but I appreciate the cosy leather sofa and board games.