‘Make it short & snappy’
N for Northern Imagination brings colour and light to Stratford.
Restaurant residency in busy Stratford centre transports you into haute cuisine: carefully selected and crafted to tantalise the taste buds.
‘Just the facts please’
- Northern Imagination
- Website: http://www.northernimagination.co.uk/
- Twitter: @Northernimagina
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 020 8279 1022 or 07800 898 824
- Address: Stratford Circus, Theatre Square, Stratford, London E15 1BX
- Opening hours: Mon, Tue & Sun: 10am – 6pm, Wed – Sat 10am – 10pm
- Price: Tasting menu in the region of £30 with matching wines an extra £15
- Twitter: @Stratfordcircus
- My previous article on Northern Imagination’s stall at Artillery Island is here.
- E17 Art Trail http://www.e17arttrail.co.uk/
- Appetite Festival: http://www.appetitefestival.co.uk/
- Twitter: @E17arttrail
- Discover Story Centre, a hidden world of storytale wonder for children just around the corner.
- Twitter: @discover_story
‘I’ve got a cup of tea, tell me all about it…’
I first became aware of Northern Imagination and Kevin, the mind behind it, when Paula from Artillery asked me back to write about another Appetite Festival event, dubbed Artillery Island. Kevin was the new attraction, the new food feature on the block, and the masses were swarming to his stall. I was to make a bee line for him and lure what goodies I could from him, to sample. And sample I did! The article from then is available here.
Having made initial contact, Kevin was keen that I try out the real deal at his restaurant in Stratford. I was delighted. There’s a big difference between being able to focus on food in an atmosphere conducive to dining, rather than trying to balance a “mishmash” of dishes smushed into a paper box on one knee and trying to capture the flavours on a wooden eco-fork in the middle of a field surrounded by the clamour of festival goers. A chair, that’s one change that was welcomed, along with a different type of buzzing atmosphere and pleasant company. Far more civilised! Kevin was kind enough, when realising I would be dining alone, to arrange for his business partner, Beth and her partner to join me for dinner. It was much appreciated as their conversation was as sparkling as the matching wine!
Writing for E17 Art Trail had introduced me to the world of the East (East of London that is). I had normally dabbled as far as Bethnal Green and the curry mile, so the foray further out was daring and exciting. As such, I previously associated Stratford with a tangle of transport links, the monster of Westfield, the magnificent 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and more recently the amazing den of the Discover Children’s Centre, all of which I’ll write about another time, this is Kevin’s moment in the limelight. On the whole I’ve found it quite sterile and manufactured, a little like the Milton Keynes of London. However, I’m pleased to say, before I get lambasted by loyal locals, that as I discover more and more hidden patches it is growing on me. Slowly the gleaming neon lights of Westfield are dimming as the glow of local enterprise and creativity burns brighter.
Northern Imagination and Stratford Circus are one such example.
Now I won’t go into too much detail about the food as I think you need to discover and savour it for yourself, but I was very pleased the initial glimpse of Northern Imagination’s flavour exploration at E17 was delivered upon in spades! The wine pairing I found was delicate and flowed well, and the dishes were presented in an efficient but not too frantic pace, they matched the tempo of the evening well.
I thought each dish delivered something new, whether it was a texture, fragrance or moreish mouthful that left you wanting seconds, which it often did!
I think my favourites were the wild mushroom soup with savoury parmesan doughnuts, and the langoustine lasagne (and what lovely words to put together!), although it was hard to pick.
I was most impressed, particularly when I learned the price, which for an establishment that was a proper restaurant in a thriving area with cultural exploration aplenty next door was very reasonable.
I will definitely keep an eye on future tasting events from Kevin, and I hope you will too.