Test Driving Goods Office - a hidden-away surprise in Stroud Green

baba ghanoushBaba ganoush with yoghurt and harissa - £5.50

So what do we need to know about Goods Office?

This neighbourhood restaurant had a bit of stealth opening back at the end of summer, when it drew our attention for the involvement of one Neil Gill as a partner in the operation. Gill, you may recall, was the genius behind the much-missed Gilly's Fry Bar in Finsbury Park. It transpired he'd teamed up with local Emma Rigby to create what they hoped would become a neighbourhood hub.

Where exactly is it?

To be fair, it's not exactly the easiest place to get to. By overground train, it's almost equidistant from both Crouch Hill and Haringey stations. If you're coming by tube you need to go to Finsbury Park and then it's about a 10-minute walk up Stroud Green Road - take a right at the Dairy, down Stapleton Hall Road and you'll find this taking up a prime corner site.

Where should we meet friends for a drink first?

There is a pub directly opposite, the VERY old school Nicholas Nickleby, but you might be better off setting either the Dairy or the Brave Sir Robin as your meeting spots.

What's on the drinks list here? 

It's pretty evenly split between white, red, rose and orange wine with a decent showing of beers too (local like Hammerton and Howling Hops as well as further afield). Prices for wine range between £19 and £40 a bottle. Our Journey's End single estate Chardonnay was at the top of that bracket, but really good.

And what's on the menu?

Chef Ashley Finch comes here via Wild Honey, Marcus and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. He's working here taking time out from the fine dining scene to spend some time getting insight into operating a business with a mind to opening his own place in due course. Meanwhile, lucky Stroud Green residents are the lucky beneficiaries of his menu here.

The small plates menu runs from 6-10pm and here's what we had:

halloumiThis deceptively simple halloumi and honey dish (£6) featured locally made Anglum cheese from the Kupros dairy in Hertfordshire made from pure sheep's milk. So unbelievably good.

chickenButtermilk fried chicken with paprika mayo (£6.50) - a stellar example of really good fried chicken given a punchy mayo to match.

brisketWe loved this BBQ beef brisket particularly because of that pairing with red cabbage and celeriac slaw (£7.50).

hakeSuperbly roasted haddock with some puffed rice for texture and a creamy cauliflower sauce to bring it all together (£7)

crumblePerhaps the only dish we had which wasn't quite there - the crumble to fruit ratio in this apple and blackberry crumble (£6.50) wasn't quite right. In case you were wondering - ALWAYS err on the side of more crumble!

mousseHappily, the dessert course finished with this 'chocolate pot' which was much bigger (not that we're complaining) than we expected it to be. 

What's there for vegetarians?

There are more dishes in the veggie section than in either the meat or fish one, so plenty to choose from here. Other dishes that we didn't get around to trying included the cheese plate and a dish of tenderstem broccoli with cashews.

Overall thoughts...

Given the slightly out of the way setting of this new restaurant, you might be surprised by the quality of the dishes here. Everything we tried from the tender calamari to that marvellous brisket was spot-on. Come and enjoy fine dining finesse at neighbourhood prices.


More about Goods Office

Where is it? 3 Ferme Park Rd, Stroud Green, London N4 4DS

How to book: Call 0208 340 7677

Find out more: Follow them on Facebook.

 Hot Dinners dined as guests of Goods Office. Prices correct at time of publication


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