I read about Paradise sometime ago and something about its name stayed with me, so I was quite keen to explore this gastro pub in West London. Its high street location amongst the ubiquitous kebab shops and off licences definitely makes it a strong contender for a London hidden gem!
External neon light signage with the words ‘Paradise’ hardly give away the sumptuousness of the interiors.
Once inside, all conventions of a pub interior are thrown out of the window. The interiors are dimly lit to create atmosphere and intimacy. There is a subliminal touch of luxury through the use of velvet drapes, plush leather sofas, marble table tops, ornate fireplaces, intricate candelabras, artistic chandeliers, hunting trophies, pediments and religious statues. It is all very bohemian and full of character!
But the real winner here is the food. Cat Ashton (ex-Petersham Nurseries) combines Middle Eastern flavours with fresh, British seasonal produce with panache. There is some exceptionally good food with brilliant flavours being dished out of the Paradise kitchen.
For my starter, I ordered the Spring Lamb Cutlets with Horseradish Labneh, Broad Beans, Chilli and Taggiosca Olives (£8). The cutlets were tender with garlicky notes. The herby labneh, spicy notes of the chilli, saltiness of the olives and the creaminess of broad beans all came together in perfect harmony. It was a perfect mouthful!
Husband ordered the Buffalo Mozzarella, Baby Carrots, Heritage Tomatoes, Purple Basil and Cashew nut Pesto (£7.25). As a vegetarian dish for my meat loving husband, this dish with its textures, flavours and delicately cooked ingredients was absolutely mind-blowing.
The plates were happily polished off (practically licked) within minutes and we couldn’t wait to get tucked into our mains!
For round two, I ordered the Slow-cooked Lamb Shoulder with Parsnip Puree, Spiced Swiss Chard and Marsala Jus (£17.50).
The lamb was cooked beautifully and fell apart with a light touch of the fork. It went really well with the red wine sauce and the puree and the parsnip crisps on top added a wonderful texture and bite!
Husband ordered the Smoked Celeriac and Goat Cheese Brik Pastry with Spring Courgettes, Chilli and Mint (£13.50). When it appeared on the table, it literally looked like spring on a plate!
Perhaps the only minor complaint was that dish was excessively oily. But the ingredients themselves were really fresh, and cooked like this I will have vegetables every day!
We also ordered a side of Polenta Chips with Parmesan, which had lovely crumbly textures and hints of savoury cheese underneath(£3.50).
Portions were fairly large so we didn’t have room left for pudding. Although judging by our mains and starters, I am sure the desserts would have been to die for!
Our entire meal at Paradise from start to finish was spectacular. We were enjoying ourselves so much that it felt like we were cheating on all the other meals we have had so far! Not only were the surroundings regal, but the food was visually stunning and cooked to perfection. I highly recommend adding this West London gastropub to your list of London’s must-eat places! We definitely have some unfinished business (puddings) and will return, so see you there!