There’s one little place I never fail to recommend to anyone wanting to grab a cheap bite in NW London. It could well be my favourite restaurant in the city, mostly because it’s impossibly claustrophobic and the maître d’ is a tad over-friendly, which all adds to its charm.

Little Bay Kilburn Review: The Lowdown

Little Bay Kilburn Review, Little Bay Review, Little Bay Kilburn

Eating at Little Bay always feels like a date – with frescoes covering the walls, intimate tables floating on raised balconies and flickering candlelight; this little restaurant is an atmospheric gem in the heart of the not-so-atmospheric local of Kilburn.

Little Bay Kilburn Review: The Food

Little Bay Kilburn Review, Little Bay Review, Little Bay Kilburn

My favourite starter is the moules marinière – it’s a fail-safe classic. Plump, generous mussels swim in a rich, creamy sauce waiting to be mopped up by fresh bread (but if you’re not a fan of garlic, maybe steer clear). If fruits de mer isn’t your thing, the goats cheese parcel with walnut salad is a close second. It’s simple and elegant, despite being a ridiculously huge portion. The earthiness of walnuts is a perfect pairing for the rich, creamy goats cheese, and the crunch of the filo pastry gives a lovely textural counterbalance to the unctuous cheese.

All of the main courses are served with a nondescript side dish of cabbage and potatoes with an air of eastern Europe about them; it reminds me of something my grandmother would knock up (if my grandmother were from the Ukraine). I always go for the duck breast – gloriously gamey – and served with an intriguing little duck cigar containing shredded meat encased in a crunchy filo parcel.

Little Bay Kilburn Review, Little Bay Review, Little Bay Kilburn

Little Bay Kilburn Review: Our Verdict

If you’re looking for a low-key bite, Little Bay always feels effortlessly special. Don’t go with more than two dinner guests – it will spoil the intimacy of the experience.

*NB the early bird menu before 7pm makes this place criminally cheap.