A few years back I had an unhappy brunch experience at the shockingly named R.E.D (really excellent dining). Really excellent it was not and I was delighted to see the place has had a recent revamp, it's now called Kentish Canteen, there's new signage, new and improved staff and the menu's had a complete overhaul.
Upon entering diners are greeted with an inviting display of cakes and salads, reminding me visually and in spirit of the counter at Lantana, and the decor is bright and airy. It couldn't be more different to how it was in it's former guise. Having wandered by on numerous occasions, I live a mere 5 minutes away, I was already interested in trying the place out when I was kindly invited to do so.
To start with I sampled the crushed broad bean and feta bruschetta which is so up my street it's as if this was plonked on the menu just for me. I loved it.
Equally impressive was the tomato and mozzarella salad, up there with the finest example of the cheese I've ever tasted, this was simple perfection and portions were generous to boot.
Onto mains, there's a huge selection, the sort of menu that usually sees me kept busy for at least 15 minutes, I found it tricky to choose as many dishes appealed. In the end I settled for a salad selection, the menu recommends trying a combination of 2 as a main course. I plumped for aubergine with a tahini sauce and long stem broccoli with chilli and ginger. Both were excellent.
The best dish of the evening though was the ravioli. Cooked al dente with a creamy but light sauce and lovely cheesy ricotta and spinach filling. I was very impressed. Other dishes I saw on surrounding tables which looked good included the burger and the fried chicken, think escalope, not KFC!
We had a passion fruit cheesecake and a creme brûlée for dessert, these were ok, though the least successful of the 3 courses, then I often find that to be the case.
With a nice concise wine list and a daily changing specials board, there's something for everyone to be had here. The house red anfora rossa was good and service was lovely. In stark contrast to the laughable efforts on my last visit to the same building, fortunately that's all that Kentish Canteen shares in common with R.E.D.
New owners, Owen Crinnigan and Wendy Sinclair also own PJ’s Bar and Grill and Guanabara, in Covent Garden and I believe they have a hit on their hands here. I'll be back for more very soon.
300 Kentish Town Road
I was invited to dine at Kentish Canteen and received complimentary food and drink.