What: The name does a pretty good job at summing what you can expect from The Cheese Bar; it’s a lot of cheese. Get it from all countries in all forms, from raw chunks to gooey deliciousness. There’s no body shaming here, however it comes served is beautiful in our eyes.
New? Just shy of its 1-year anniversary, The Cheese Bar opened at the end of March 2017 after a successful crowdfunding campaign, (reaching his funding target of £130,000 in just 5 days).
Where? Unit 93, North Yard, Camden Market, NW1 8AP www.thecheesebar.com
On the menu: Cheese. A lot of cheese. In ways you didn’t think cheese would (or should?) be served. Think cheese ice cream, cheese cocktails, and good old lumps of cheese. Grilled cheese has its own section on the menu and a massive gleaming board that takes up one wall describes the various cheeses available which can be selected for, what else? A cheese board.
The Look: The restaurant itself is fairly small but they’ve done well with the space available so that you don’t feel squashed. The main seating area is the large marble topped bar which is perfect for pairs and difficult for anymore unless you nab a corner, there is a long table at the back which is more-friendly for larger groups. Exposed brick walls and floor to ceiling display fridges housing over thirty of Founder, Mathew Carver’s favourite British cheeses.
What We Ate: So much cheese. Let’s start with something semi-respectable before the descent into lactose induced madness; the goat’s cheese salad with beets and pine nuts is perfect for those getting dragged along and want something remotely healthy but still tastes good, that’s where your vegetable options end though. The Rosary goats’ cheese grilled sandwich with honey, walnut and rosemary butter is lovely, all the flavours harmonise so well together. There is just something so simple but satisfying when it comes to a good mozzarella grilled sandwich with pesto and tomatoes, and The Cheese Bar hits the mark. To cater to vegetarian taste, we had the blue cheese raclette without the salt beef, the blue cheese didn’t mess about and gave my taste buds a good kicking.
Now stick with me when I tell you about dessert. Goats’ cheese ice cream with pistachio brittle, not only is the brittle cleverly created so as to not be overly brittle and hurt your teeth, simply crunchy and sweet, but the ice cream was actually lovely. Goats’ cheese by nature is very creamy so to sweeten it wasn’t a huge leap of the imagination, touches of salt made it moreish.
What We Drank: Although the cocktail menu is fairly short with (currently) 9 options it does well to cover all bases and tastes from the powerful Cidercar made with cider, Remy Martin, citrus, triple sec and spices to the simply divine Snowball Colada made with Havana, Advocaat, pineapple juice, coconut and lemonade. I wasn’t joking earlier with the cheese cocktail, check out the Bourbon Espresso for an all-rounded cheese experience as its ingredients include Woodford Reserve, Licor 43, espresso and mascarpone.
Go With: Fans of cheese obviously, it’s literally in every dish so you either get on (the cheese) board or you can sit on the bench outside.
Final Word: If there’s one thing people in London (slash the UK) go wild for it’s cheese and The Cheese Bar is a welcome addition to a surprisingly burgeoning food scene in Camden and specifically Camden Market. It’s worth noting that a lot of the cheese on the menu isn’t vegetarian but luckily they have a special menu which lays out which ones are.
The Cheese Bar: Unit 93, 94 Camden Stables, NW1 8AP www.thecheesebar.com