Kilburn Ironworks, Kilburn
Kilburn Ironworks started life as Power’s Irish bar, a much loved institution in the area. New owner Jimi Pearce of Wax Jambu in Islington and his business partner, Will Patridge, have taken the space and reworked it into a sleek hipster den with exposed brick walls, wooden tables and shiny copper fittings including a huge beer tank to ensure that the tap never runs dry. It still retains something of the old down to earth charm of the former venue, and indeed former ironworks site, so this nod to the old while remaining proudly new really gives the place a touch of something unique.
As is the current fashion-slash-requirement of modern hangouts, this place covers a few bases. It’s the perfect post work joint for a catch up over a pint and a snack, totally suitable for a relaxed coupley Friday night dinner where neither of you can be arsed to cook but want food and drink handed to you or indeed a cool place for Saturday brunch with a Bloody Mary before watching afternoon sports at the nearby Black Lion. Likewise, you can easily imagine the bar four people deep late on a weekend evening with the music banging and the place full of faces you know.
The menu is eclectic enough to cater to all tastes yet manages to keep it small enough to be well executed time and time again. Think flat iron steaks with Mezcal horseradish cream, Welsh Wagyu burgers, slow cooked pork belly, fresh slaw and fries delivered in enamel bowls with plenty of condiments for dipping and sharing. There are lighter options too like the goat’s cheese, walnut and beetroot salad or the hake with lentils and salsa Verde. Don’t miss the brownie – it’s for sharing, obvs.
Keep this one up your sleeve, especially if you are planning to take out an NW’er with a penchant for craft beer (let them go mad on the craft beer cocktails before moving in for an old fashioned snog). On the other hand, make it your local go-to for dinner spot for relationship ‘date night.’ With a drinks list you can lean on after a hard day at the office, Kilburn Ironwork’s relaxed charm will make sure you forget all your woes enabling you to treat that someone special to your full attention as you both enjoy the ambience. Nightcaps follow naturally – Stoke me a Clipper hits the spot perfectly. Cue: comfortable lovemaking.
A few minor fumbles from the kitchen but nothing to write home about. Prices also a tad steep, especially for Kilburn.
3. Old faithful.