Patron NW5


Patron Cave à Manger is located in the NW London borough of Tufnell Park, a hotspot for families, young professionals - and of course, the French  expats who are known to nestle into one of the nicer locations in North-west London.

Jean-Francois and Tanzi Ellison are the French -English couple who have set up this beautiful local Parisian haunt, Patron.

As someone who is a quarter French yet has zero idea of my heritage, I was excited to become a little more acquainted with a cuisine fondly known for its love of garlic and fantastic wine pairings. 

Patron is littered with intimate bistro tables alongside its beautiful, and extremely instagrammable, marble bar, and not forgetting their trusty dog, Pippin, who is almost like furniture and an important part of the restaurant. 

The monochrome interiors, the iconic wicker chairs and the cutlery laid out on the marble bar create the authentic Parisian feel throughout. As someone who can appreciate tasteful decor; I was in heaven. 

When it comes to food, the menu offers signature French classics from frog legs in garlic to escargots and steak tartare - and of course, some exceptional French wines. A menu which caters for the most refined French cuisine eaters through to those just beginning their journey, like me.

Given my bid to want to learn as much about the culture which makes up a quarter of me, I could have happily tried the entire menu. I eventually settle on the frog legs in garlic butter and parsley, whilst my friend opts for the French onion soup to start, then moving on to the onglet steak and, one of their signature dishes, duck confit with sides of frites and green beans for main.

As I’ve said before; I used to be an exceptionally fussy eater. The thought of anything even slightly untoward would have sent me running for the hills, but after months of renovating my taste buds I’ve managed to completely change my view on it.

I was a little apprehensive to try one of France’s most-loved classics; frogs legs. They were, as rumoured, very similar to chicken in taste. To my surprise they were succulent, tender and complemented by the trickle of lemon. The onion soup looked thick and smelt incredible – I have it on good authority that it tasted as good as it smelt!

As it was a quiet afternoon, our mains arrived promptly after we had finished our starters and the smell was simply divine. The steak onglet was of a generous portion, and was covered in a garlic butter sauce, adding to the already succulent flavour. The meat was tender, served medium, and almost melted in your mouth.

The sides, which the two of us shared, of green beans and frites were of the same standard and, portion wise, were more than enough for two. The frites were crunchy and resembled triple-cooked chips, while the green beans were fresh and crisp and took the edge off the heavier red meat dish. The duck confit, which I sampled, fell off the bone as you tucked into it. The meat was flavoursome and the sweet glaze on the duck added a lot to the taste.

Finally, a triumphant third course – dessert. As someone who is indecisive, the ‘café gourmand’ was the perfect antidote for this. A trio of desserts: a warm chocolate brownie, hazelnut ice cream in lieu of the vanilla and a crème brûlée. Each dessert brought a different flavour – the only thing that remained the same was how incredibly moreish they all were. The dessert was topped off with a refreshing mint tea, which cleansed the palette and gave me a ping of energy towards the end of the meal.

As someone with an unknown and unrequited French heritage, my experience at Patron has set me up to want to get to know more and really allow my French quarter come out…the only similarity I have with the French currently is my love for garlic.

Bon Appetit - and if you’ve got any further French restaurants to recommend please do let me know! 

Photo credit: David Loftus 


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