This pub, opened on May 4th 2023 (cue Star Wars jokes about “May the 4th be with you”). It is the sister of nearby Parlour, and also Six Portland Road, a little restaurant group run by classically trained and charismatic chef Jesse Dunford Wood. The head chef here is Sandor Balint, though cooking tonight was sous chef Newton Santiago. Harvest has a little terrace at the back of the pub with outside seating with heaters, and on this unseasonably warm October evening it was nice to be able to sit in the open air.
Smoked salmon is not normally something I would order in a restaurant as it would be bought in, but here it is smoked on the roof of the Parlour pub, and is some of the best smoked salmon you will taste (hard to score a dish like this, but if pressed then 16/20). To start we had scallops and peas (£16.50), a classic recipe of Rowley Leigh of the now departed and much-lamented Kensington Place. It was nice that that the menu acknowledged the roots of the dish, in an age where too many chefs plagiarise classic dishes and pretend that they invented them. The scallops had nice natural sweetness and the pea puree was lovely (14/20).
Whole roast chicken (£60 for two people) was simple but carefully cooked, served in pieces on a wooden board, with chips and a side salad. The chicken managed to entirely avoid any drying out and had pretty good flavour, supplied by a company called Barrett’s. This dish was not aiming to cross any culinary boundaries but was very enjoyable (14/20).
Cornish Yarg cheese was served with crackers and grapes; it was fine, but served a little too cold. Leaving it out of the fridge earlier would have improved it. For dessert, French toast with toffee apple whipped cheesecake (£7.50) came with roasted apples and toffee sauce. This was a warm, comforting autumnal dessert (14/20). Rich and dark chocolate mousse with sour cream, soda bread wafers and Bimbi’s olive oil was very pleasant, though I’m not sure that the olive oil added anything (13/20). (14/20). Coffee was from Allpress, a New Zealand company that I always find to be one of the better London suppliers.
Service was excellent, and the bill came to £85 each including moderate £25 corkage. Given that we had plenty of courses this seemed very reasonable. Harvest offers a very enjoyable experience, a pub with food that is altogether better than you might expect. If you come here then don’t forget to order the smoked salmon – you can thank me later.