I had gone to the Kentish Canteen on a couple of occasions for a quick coffee and cake and was eager to try out a full meal. What an unbelievable disappointment! Although the atmosphere is pleasant and the staff good their main meals are overpriced and mediocre. Their desserts are absolutely divine which is why I wanted to go again but now that I have paid a whopping bill for three spoonfuls of something I can make at home on a lazy day off - I am not returning and would highly recommend that you steer clear of this place.
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Wed Sep 18 2013
A spacious spot, the Canteen has big picture windows, a Kentish Town-themed mural on one wall and brasserie-style seating covered in faux-leather. The menu leaps around a bit, from dips and fish and chips to ambitious-sounding mains (braised beef cheeks with polenta and thyme jus), to pub-grub fare such as spicy buffalo chicken wings with blue cheese dip.
To start, ‘salt ’n’ pepper squid’ had a softly spicy coating and chilli jam added a pleasant edge; pumpkin ravioli was pleasantly smooth and well cooked. But a main of poached bream and saffron bisque was a serious misfire: everything was almost taste-free – the lacklustre fish sat in a heavy, bland bisque (despite chilli flakes) with mushy prawns and mussels. It was served with ‘croutons’ that were actually slices of fried baguette. A less ambitious dish, steak frites, was OK. Brunch and lunchmight be a safer bet, when burgers, egg dishes and baked goods are joined by a selection of salads which many regulars regard as the best things on the menu. They're often displayed on the front counter along with a selection of baked goods which are uniformly good.
In its favour, we liked the fact that the Canteen attracts a mixed bag of diners (families, couples, work groups) for everything from drinks to a full meal. A useful place if you live locally, with friendly staff adding to the appeal.
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Kentish Canteen 300 Kentish Town Road
- Venue phone:
020 7485 7331
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Meals served 10am-10.30pm Mon-Fri; 9am-10.30pm Sat, Sun
Tube: Kentish Town
Main courses £5-£17. Set meal (noon-7pm Mon-Fri) £11 1 course incl glass of wine or beer.
- 300 Kentish Town Road
- 020 7485 7331
- 300 Kentish Town Road
- Kentish Canteen
Average User Rating
3.4 / 5
- 5 star:7
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:5
- 1 star:2
I've lived in the area for a good few years now and this place is such a welcome addition. Fantastic food, fresh and comforting with some lovely twists. Plus it's all reasonably priced. I've spent many a weekend lunch enjoying their yummy food and atmosphere, both with friends and the in-laws! Seems to have something to please all tastes.. The portion sizes are always generous but never so much as to leave you feeling you need to lie down afterwards and there's always at least one thing new on the menu so I haven't got bored yet. Yesterday it was cinnamon and salted caramel ice cream, which was out of this world! Three scoops and not two! Looking at some of the reviews below, it surprises me that people mention the staff as being rude. I can hand on heart say they are such a friendly and attentive bunch, always aiming to please. Also, my partner is veggie and this place has more options than most plus the coffee is some of the best around. Although there are some lovely gastro pubs in North London, I always struggle to find a local restaurant with good food, atmosphere and that doesn't break the bank. This answered the call. Definitely worth a visit whether you're a local or not.
Totally agree with Kentish John. Great food but I'm afraid I won't be going back. The service is beyond bad - having been several times, each time its been a struggle to get attention whether that is to (try) and order food, or ask for the bill. I decided to give it one last chance on Saturday whilst my mum was visiting. It looked quite full but there was the odd table. There were 2 waitresses milling about when we arrived and chatting to each other didn't even acknowledge we had walked in and clearly were looking for a table. Minutes past and my mum had to actually stop one of them in their tracks as the time we had been waiting had got slightly embarrassing by this point. They were almost rude about the fact they didn't have any tables and didn't even seem to check properly or attempt to find a solution by offering us one later on. Such a shame but I am sticking to my guns this time!
Lovely food, but don't go there if you are seeking a calm, pleasant dining experience. The decibel level makes civilised chat a little difficult, to say the least. The family at the next table, both parents inebriated and all virtually shouting didn't help. Avoid on a Saturday night!
Attractive looking place but the service was awful from the kitchen - we had to wait 45 minutes for food that was not as we ordered. We were told the delay was because me friend asked for her burger well done - but that was evidently not the case she she couldn't eat it all due to it being pink in about half of it. I asked for no tomatoes due to an intolerance but the fish dish came with tomatoes and tomato sauce on the plate underneath the french beans, which meant I couldn't eat most of them. We were credited for the burger but thought the prices a bit over the top for what we actually got so I agree with Sarah H of Nov 7 - not a place to go if you are feeling the pinch or you want quick service. The food service team were apologetic but would not go again, especially as due to the delay we were late getting into the HMV Forum
I eat at Kentish Canteen regularly and find it such a great, special place. The food is AMAZING, the menu has just changed and the food is of such an exceptional high standard for the prices they are charging. I had the freshest sole on basil mash with a delicious sauce and topped with Samphire, beautifully presented and stylish. Staff are very friendly and know their stuff. I was even invited downstairs for a complimentary cocktail to see their new bar. A super addition to Kentish Town. They do need some draughts beers though.
Such a lovely local place for dinner. It is great value, very good food and lovely people but I can't understand why it is not packed all the time? It is consistenly good and also interesting food. Had a lovely Christmas dinner there on 14th December, excellent all round!!
Excellent place. I regularly go there once or twice a week for their cooked breakfasts, which are several cuts above your average fare from many a greasy spoon cafe. They are versatile in their food offerings and so are also good for restaurant-esque lunch, snacks and evening meals; it's also particularly good in the summer when you can sit outside in an enclosed area and watch the world go by; even the close proximity to Kentish town road and barely perceptable glimpse of hampstead heath don't detract from this recent addition to the area for me. The Staff are always friendly and courteous, especially to the parents of messy kids who actually bother to apologise for leaving the place with a pile of crumbs around them, so despite objections they aren't anti-child at all, only anti-discourtesy. They only steer babies towards high chairs so they can store buggies at the front entrance in a way that doesn't get in everybody elses way, including the staff, which bearing in mind that space is limited, seems a reasonable request. Weekends tend to be very busy so this is worth considering before going, but generally well worth a visit or seven.
Wonderful addition to the neighbourhood! Always had friendly and professional service with super food. Also have good special offers. Bit gloomy on a wet Monday evening but the candles def help!
the food was pretty good- but the portions were tiny, and i can't believe how over priced this place is! not somewhere to go if you're feeling the pinch...
My duck dish was ok but the portion size was very mean. For £13.95, I was still hungry afterwards. It was supposed to be apple braised, but I couldn't taste the apple. The 'black bean and pancetta cassoulet' was a complete oversell, nothing like a cassoulet at all. Service was friendly, but the food was exceptionally slow to come out - we waited 30 minutes for our food to arrive - the restaurant was not even half full. My friend's burger was burnt, even though he had asked for it medium rare. They were happy to correct it, but having waited 30 mins for the food, that was a bit much. I would have to say that it was very average.
I hired out the downstairs space of Kentish Canteen for a birthday celebration for my Mum and I must say how impressed I was with absolutely everything. The ambience of the downstairs was perfect, nice lighting that could be dimmed to suit your needs. The service from the staff was very good and our party was well attended to. The food was great also and is very reasonable in price. I would highly recommend KC to anyone looking for a good evening out just to eat or for a party venue. Special mention goes out to the owner, Wendy who was really attentive to our needs. Big thumbs up to Kentish Canteen!!
Average Breakfast! Sloppy eggs, no toast, no offer of more drinks and to top it off HAD to pay 12.5% gratuity after asking twice for the bill!!! Was looking forward to coming here but on the whole am quite disappointed.