It’s just been sold after 10 years to new owners. So what’s the food offering at the Junction Tavern like now?
Our story on the sale of the Junction to Camden Bars was surprisingly popular and underlined to us how many of you value this very long-standing gastropub straddled between the grit of K-Town and Tufnell Park’s leafier backstreets.
As we reported, the new owners are Camden Bars, whose decent string of boozers include The Abbey and Delancey Street’s Crown & Goose. And Ben McDonald, who has run both the latter pub and the Lord Stanley, just off Camden Square, is at the helm. “I’m about as local as a Kentish Town local could be,” he said to us the other week. “Born at Royal Free hospital, brought up in Bartholomew Rd and schooled at Torriano and Haverstock.”
But our chicken liver parfait disappointed; it could have been lifted by a little seasoning, and more depth of flavour, but at least a rich onion jam helped things along. More memorable was a beef carpaccio that melted in the mouth, its accompanying wild and chestnut mushrooms marinated with garlic, breadcrumbs, lemon and parsley.
A lack of seasoning again seemed to take the edge off a main of duck, served perfectly rare with crispy honey roast parsnips, port jus and Savoy cabbage; but a tangy fillet of plaice with lentils and broccoli made up for it, enlivened by that winning partnership, caper and anchovy. Wine is well-priced but limited (this is changing soon, we hear); nothing costs over £26. Our Malbec was £24.
The verdict? Solid and reliable, rather than outstanding, and it’s this that could – and we’re sure, will – now be turned up a notch. As for the crowd? “Well, Russell Crowe came in the other day,” announced lovely waitress Jessica towards the end of the meal. But she wouldn’t divulge what he ordered.
Find Junction Tavern on our Nearby Map.
Words: Stephen Emms