Restaurant review: The Queen’s Head and Artichoke, NW1

On Monday I met my friend Belle for after work drinks in the park, and a couple of gins down, we felt the need to soak up the alcohol with a quick snack. She took me to her favourite post-work haunt, the Queen’s Head and Artichoke near Regent’s Park, to check out their Mediterranean mezze menu!

It’s got a bit of a weird name, but the website tells me that there’s been a pub on this site since the 16th century – with the current building dating back to the 1900s. You can definitely tell the building is old, but it’s pleasantly undated. Like many London pubs, it has a curated vintage feel, which I imagine would be cosy in the winter. As it was pretty warm, we grabbed a table outside and got to choosing from the extensive menu.

We plumped for the babaganoush with flatbread, marinated artichoke hearts, ham croquettes with red onion marmalade, paprika pork skewers with a lemon and tahini sauce and grilled octopus with hummus, cocktail chorizo and rocket salad with a balsamic dressing. The dishes are fairly reasonably priced, and five was just about right to share between two of us.

The babaganoush was absolutely delicious, with a really lovely creamy texture and a tangy flavour, and some nicely toasted bread. The pork skewers went down nicely but didn’t have a huge amount of flavour – a little more seasoning wouldn’t go amiss here, however the tahini and lemon sauce was very tasty. Neither of us were fans of the artichoke hearts – unfortunately the marinade wasn’t our favourite!

The octopus was cooked to perfection and went well with the chorizo, although for me the hummus was a bit stodgy. The stand out dish was the croquettes, which were amazing – and the onion marmalade was really fresh and not overbearingly sweet.

I’d really like to try this place again as overall the meal was great and I love sharing dishes so that I can taste everything (aka I’m a greedy bugger) – I look forward to trying the rest of the menu!

 

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