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Restaurants, Irish Kilburn
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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A British/Irish small plates restaurant in Kilburn.

Kilburn High Road has a secret. Hidden away in the old Irish pub next to Planet Pizza there’s a really, really good restaurant. Meet Summers. The first solo venture from ex-St John chef Ruairidh Summers, this place has got serious pedigree, but its brilliance still comes as a surprise. From the short British-Irish menu, to the décor, to the enthusiastic and slightly bumbling service, everything is straightforward and unpretentious. You get the feeling Summers doesn’t know how good Summers is. And that’s probably the most charming thing about it.

The fish-heavy menu changes daily depending on what’s been caught that morning and my god it tasted fresh. A highlight was spicy brown crab served with sweet cucumber and cold, crunchy lettuce. Another delight was a rich and delicate guineafowl dish served with creamy, aromatic bread sauce. Plates come small (sometimes a bit too small), and the idea is that you order lots and mix and match. But the flavours at Summers never blend into one. Every dish is so different and so beautifully composed that eating here is like dragging your tastebuds across a tableful of different little worlds.

Summers isn’t perfect. Sea trout came far too salty (over-salting is a bit of problem here) and those small plates do make the bill rack up. But any niggles were forgotten when they brought out dessert: simply the best strawberry ice cream I’ve ever had, served with crumbly, savoury shortbread. It was so good I ordered it twice. Eating it while looking out on to the scruffy High Road makes you feel like you’ve stumbled into some sort of alternate culinary universe: everything looks like Kilburn, but it tastes like heaven. The secret’s out. Go to Summers before everyone else does.

Summers says
Seasonal British and Irish cooking at the Sir Colin Campbell pub in the heart of Kilburn


Address: Sir Colin Campbell
264-266 Kilburn High Rd
Transport: Brondesbury Overground.
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £80.
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