Remind us exactly what it’s all about. This local food delivery service offers a curated selection of classic dishes from Patron, Kentish Town’s long-running destination restaurant. Think top French comfort food freshly prepared, chilled, vacuum-packed and carefully delivered to your door, whatever’s happening with the latest Covid variant.
How does it work? Choose from starters, mains, desserts, wines, cocktails and more; order before 2pm for same-day delivery, including Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. In fact, Maison Patron has been so successful since launching in March 2020 that it’s now not only Londonwide, but nationwide.
Any last minute festive or gift ideas? There’s a whole page on the website dedicated to special experiences for a loved one. You could go for the Dinner Date box, with French onion soup, sourdough and butter, duck confit, dauphinoise and green beans for two, plus two desserts. Or try a wine box, the cocktail box, or aperitif box to get your special meal started.
If we go a la carte, what should we eat? Vegetarians should try the baked Normandy camembert, padron peppers or French onion soup. Meanwhile, pescatarians will love the fish soup, an umami-rich soupe de poisson with homemade croutons, grated mules des alpes cheese and rouille sauce. Another must-starter is the delicate strands of earthy beetroot-cured salmon, with homemade horseradish crème fraîche and dill, pictured below.
For the mains? Previously we’ve enjoyed the signature duck confit (reviewed here). This time, on a chilly midweek December lunchtime, we tried two proper winter warmers. The first was a slow-cooked bowl of rich venison bourguignon, in a red wine sauce with button mushrooms, button onions, smoked lardons, baby carrots and caramelised shallots.
The second was the only dish that required a little more than reheating. Onglet from the Yorkshire dales, pictured below, is an incredibly tender cut when cooked correctly, but be warned it can quickly overcook. At its best between bleu and medium, we were careful not to go beyond rare – just one minute each side, then rested for 2-3 mins (at least). The result was sensational: such a delicious meat needs very little, only a coin of shallot butter, supplied, and perhaps a glass of red wine from the extensive wine list.
Sides? An essential order is the gratin dauphinoise, pictured above, layers of thinly sliced white potatoes cooked in pureed garlic and shallots, finished with rosemary, thyme and cream. Green beans come smothered in butter, slices of garlic adding a vitamin or two.
To drink? Wine aside (the Fleurie is recommended, but bottles start at £12), try the great range of bottled cocktails, all which can be also purchased from sister business Le Cocktail Shop on Holloway Road. A Tom Savano negroni, using Salcombe Gin, packs a real punch as an aperitif, along with green nocellara olives (pictured below); and, for the sweet-of-tooth, a pleasant digestif is the Punch a Crema, a smooth, creamy liqueur which yields a mighty hit of rum, as well as bitters and nutmeg.
Desserts? Bien sur. We had just enough room to share a silken chocolate mousse and creme brulee, with its deeply vanilla-pod notes. Don’t skip the five minutes it needs under the grill to caramelise its surface.
What else should we know? Each box is carefully packed and includes simple cooking instructions. All dishes are very easy cook and take up to 15 mins to prepare. They last three days in your fridge and some of them can also be frozen. Detailed cooking instructions and info can be found on each product’s page.
Is it environmentally friendly? The boxes are 100% recyclable, made from a minimum of 75% recycled fibres. Maison Patron are actively working towards further improving packaging, reducing the use of plastic and minimising the impact on the environment.
The final word? If you’ve had more than one Christmas bash cancelled again this year, let Patron bring the party to you. And as for New Year’s Eve? This is surely the safest – not to mention tastiest – way to celebrate with friends and family, while also supporting local.
Main image: Matt Porter
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