Last year Highgate’s classic car showroom, Hexagon Classics, entered into a new world when they teamed up with wine expert Bert Blaize to open Bottles ’n’ Jars, a luxury deli and bottle shop. This summer the showroom, which has one of the largest collections of classic cars in the UK and Europe and is the official dealer of some of the most sought after brands, ventured further with the opening of The Engine Rooms.
As with the showroom, The Engine Rooms features an impressive collection of modern art and the interior is bold, with an industrial air to it - think exposed pipes, metal greys and monochrome tiles. Inside you’ll find the main dining area and a mezzanine level whilst outside there is a generous heated courtyard with retractable awning, perfect for crisp winter days and come the summer - we’re already thinking of afternoons there with a glass of wine and a plate of crispy stuffed courgette flower or handmade smoked haddock raviolis. Dreamy.
Heading up the kitchen is James Harrison and Michelangelo Farina (both formerly at Taka Marylebone) who are serving up a Mediterranean inspired menu using responsibly sourced ingredients in the open kitchen. There’s an excellent starter of Devon hand picked crab with a fresh compressed cucumber, rainbow radish salad and tapioca crab crisp (rather like a crab take on pork crackling). In the mood for fish (and with five fish dishes on the menu, compared to just two meat) we continued with wild sea bass, served with saffron Israeli couscous, crisp apple, baby red vein sorrel and a tarragon bass sauce whilst giant king prawns are cooked over coals and served with distinctive roasted nori and a sharper yuzu cultured butter. For us though, it was dessert that stole our hearts. A gorgeously light and summery Gin & Tonic Cheesecake with apple and cucumber salsa, bourbon vanilla and topped with minted makrut lime sorbet - the perfect antidote to miserable autumn weather, it had us dreaming of sunny lazy days in the Mediterranean.
The Engine Rooms, 82-92 Great North Road, London, N2 0NL
Images: Charlie Mckay