Compared to today’s standards, nearly all British restaurants in the 1970s were lacking in every department, with stuffy service and questionable food a common occurrence. One of the few that made a positive name for itself, however, was Odette’s – a cosy restaurant in Primrose Hill; a beautiful, grassy area overlooking London. But it wasn’t until a certain Welsh chef took over in October 2008 that it got the national food critics interested.
Bryn Williams was appointed head chef in 2006 and fell in love with the charming part of London instantly. He changed the menu to reflect his seasonal, produce-led style of cooking, and after buying Odette’s outright in October 2008, he refurbished the restaurant to give it more of a contemporary feel and did away with any lingering stuffiness the restaurant had held onto from the 1980s.
Nowadays, the modern European menu is popular with critics, tourists and locals alike, who love Bryn’s dedication to good ingredients – many of which are sourced from his native North Wales (his father and uncle supply many of the game birds when in season). The dishes are simple, subtle and beautifully presented, focusing on three or four things on the plate which are allowed to shine. This, combined with an extensive, affordable wine list (something the restaurant has been known for since it opened), intimate rooms, charming, relaxed service and subtle interior make Odette’s much more than a neighbourhood restaurant; people are making the trip there from all over the UK.