A modern British spot on bustling Norwood Road, Park’s Edge Bar & Kitchen looks fairly chintzy from the outside. But I’m glad we ventured in: the cooking showed a deft touch with decent ingredients and cool global inflections.
It began well: an excellent crab risotto starter, then a hunk of crisp, almost confit lamb neck, paired with sheaves of fiery kimchi. Delicious.
Mains were less successful. Pheasant breast was yielding and pink, but came with an overbearingly sweet-sharp apple purée. In a dish of gilt-head bream, a fine piece of fish had only a one-note ginger-laced broth. But steamed syrup sponge was superlative, while a plate of sweet parsnip with thick coffee mousse, cereal-style chocolate ‘soil’ and yoghurt ice cream saw the normally dull root cleverly repurposed as pudding.
But… the decor. There are perspex-backed chairs with animal-hide seats. Walls covered in empty faux-gilded picture frames. An ‘Art Attack’-style bust with headphones. My companion described it as ‘a St Albans coffee shop designed by a middle-aged lady with an evening diploma in interior design’ and that’s bang on. But hey, it’s certainly original.