Rating: ★★★☆

Address: 69-73 St John St, EC1M 4AN

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 3217 0033

North Road is situated within walking distance from where I used to work in London, so it was the ideal place for me for a post-work night out.

When A and I had dinner at North Road on a Wednesday night, the restaurant was eerily empty, with only us and 8 other diners at the restaurant. Considering that this is a Michelin one-starred restaurant, we instantly became worried that the restaurant might soon have to close down if the situation didn’t improve! 

When one hears “Scandinavian cuisine”, one inevitably thinks of Noma, the restaurant in Copenhagen which has been voted as the world’s best restaurant for 3 years in a row in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. However, besides the simplistic and elemental style, North Road has, in fact, nothing much in common with Noma, and is merely a homely, brasserie-style restaurant.

North Road’s Danish chef, Christoffer Hruskova, works closely with suppliers to produce dishes that are inspired by the best seasonal ingredients. As a result, the menu is full of creative concoctions which pay homage to the chef’s Nordic sentiments.

(1) This rustic, hearty trio of amuse-bouche got us really excited at the beginning of the meal! The pork scratchings were actually better than the ones at Hibiscus (I didn’t manage to take a photo of the pork scratchings there), and the boiled quail egg in vinegar reminded me of the spectacular amuse-bouche at The Ledbury!

(2) I had some delicate, tender Galloway Beef Cheeks as my starter. The presentation was pleasing and I liked the touch of Verbena, but the taste of the dish was overall underwhelming and didn’t live up to our expectations for this Nordic restaurant.

(3) A and I also tried another appetiser, the Rock oysters & cauliflower. The rock oysters, which had been slow cooked under low heat, had a fluid, melt-in-the-mouth texture. Tasting sublime and looking seductive, this appetiser was deservedly the best dish of the night. A, however, complained that the portion was too small (there were 5 small oysters)…

(4) For my main course, I had this light smoked Tamworth pork neck. (Tamworth is a town in Staffordshire, England.) Just like the other items we had at North Road that night, the pork neck was soft, tender and mild. Even though the texture appealed to me, the taste, which was quite feeble and bland, did not capture my heart!

Conclusion: While the Scandinavian sense of simplicity and serenity at North Road impressed us, the taste of thefood unfortunately did not. The prices were not stratospheric, but they were not cheap for a brasserie-style eatery. We ordered 2 courses (no desserts) and 1 cocktail each, and this came to around £55 per person. With the vast number of Michelin one-starred restaurants in London to choose from, this one is not at the top of my list.