As the name states, this trendy joint is all about cheese. Will it leave us satisfied or all cheesed out?
Modern British artisan
In a Word:
Just like Camden, there’s a variety of diners here. Couples, small groups and surprisingly, lots of tourists. Maybe it has something to do with the Amy Winehouse statue just outside…
Set in the heart of the trendy Camden Stables Market, is The Cheese Bar – a unique restaurant that looks just like a bar. Founder Matthew Carver, originally operated the business from a yellow ice cream van and now has a permanent site under a burlesque club in the market. If you’re cheese fans like us here at Tasting Britain, then you’ll know how keen we are to try out the menu.
Much like the other eateries and shops in Camden Stables, it’s small, sleek and has a style that’s unique to Camden. The tiny venue has just one dining area and a kitchen. You sit on the stool at the bar and your food and drink is served just like in a normal bar. (If you want to use the toilet, you need to grab a pass from a staff member and use the one outside – it’s that small.)
For a specialist restaurant, it’s certainly unpretentious. There’s a chilled, relaxing vibe to the venue, making it an ideal place to grab a bite after work or after a shopping trip.
Their menu is far from just the same old paninis and toasties. They’re surprisingly inventive. It’s worth mentioning at this point that cheese they use is all made right in the UK. Another surprise is that a wide selection is made by local business right here in London. Anyone heard of London mozzarella? No? Me neither, but it does exist.
So to start, we order the Mozzarella Sticks with marinara sauce and the Fondue Fritter. The Mozzarella Sticks are perfect, firm and slightly gooey on the inside with a crispy crumb coating on the outside. The marinara sauce is rich and slightly spicy which accompanies the cheese perfectly.
The Fondue Fritter is full of delicious flavours and textures which delight the senses. It’s a little too rich as a starter for me personally, but it’s warm and satisfying on a cold evening.
Onto the mains now. Obviously, I have to got go for the Five Cheese Macaroni. Rich, creamy and packed full of gentle and tangy flavours. The pasta is tenderly cooked too. It’s hard to get macaroni cheese wrong, as it’s the ultimate comfort food and they’ve certainly nailed it.
Jack goes for a meaty Cheese Burger. It’s a hearty affair with 28 day aged beef, mozzarella patty bacon, a dollop of chilli jam and bit of rocket. It’s a mouthful of meaty goodness with just a hint of sweetness. It’s ideal for meat lovers.
Of course, no meal is complete without a couple of sides so we choose the Charred Broccoli and the Cheesy Truffle Chips. The broccoli was a colourful sight as it was the only green item on the list and obviously it goes so well with cheese. The charred taste cuts through the cheese and is surprisingly light thanks to a lashing of oil.
Fancy some truffle chips? These chips are chunky, cheesy and laced with truffle oil, the flavours simply dance on the tongue and Jack thinks they’re the best chips he’s ever had. I think the verdict is still out there on that one, but they are pretty tasty.
It goes without saying that if you’re a cheese lover then The Cheese Bar is your idea of heaven. Even if you’re on the border or only a one-cheese type of person, you’ll find yourself wanting more. The impressive range of flavours that accompany the cheese in the dishes are just right – they balance out the creaminess of the cheese and stop the dishes from getting boring.
Having a venue that specialises in a particular food may seem intimidating at first, but it’s skilfully planned and made here. There’s great service here too and the staff are chatty and attentive. A real winner.
Unit 93, 94 Camden Stables, Camden Town, London NW1 8AP