Islington's got a new fish n' chip shop. Unlike more traditional joints where you might find a greasy ketchup bottle on a formica table top, The Fish & Chip Shop is a rather more snazzy affair. Filament lightbulbs hang above the bar, red leather banquettes line the bare brick walls and at the front of the restaurant there is another bar for raw seafood. Their menu is atypical to a chippie too - of course you get your requisites but that also sits side by side with crab salad, rock oysters and fish curry. We visited during their soft opening for a preview and, armed with a Lady Marmalade cocktail, enjoyed a lobster roll immensely. Scampi and cod were both well fried and greaseless in a crunchy batter, though I was slightly miffed that 'mushy peas' were in fact crushed petit pois. Their curry sauce which we ordered to go with our chips was properly excellent. I loved the place very much.
189 Upper Street, London N1 1RQ
We made a brief, if slightly tipsy visit to Mayfields on Wilton Way, Hackney. The whitewashed room is stark and it only serves to make the beauty of the food stand out more - everything we ordered looked so pretty. Duck hearts with green sauce were tender and perfectly pink inside, intensely seasoned and had us scrabbling for more. Braised ox cheek with herbs and jersey royals was bathed in a light but flavoursome broth - so often a heavy and rich meat, on this one day we had some sun, it was light and refreshing. I fully intend on returning soon. Sober.
52 Wilton Way, London E8 6GG
Feast are back in town from 4th - 7th July, this time at Brick Lane Yard. Always a brilliant day out (especially in warmer climes) - I recommend gathering friends to tackle and share dishes to ensure you get to try everything. They have some new vendors joining them - Bonnie Gull, Pig & Butcher, etc. You can buy tickets here.
We went for a quick dinner at Dishoom, Shoreditch. On a balmy evening it was lovely and cool in there, though I wasn't so keen on everything we ordered turning up all at once, crowding the table and even before my cocktail arrived. I suffer from a chronic dislike of my food becoming anything but optimal temperature, so you can imagine my indigestion after I tried to stuff everything in before it got cold.
Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the spiced skate cheeks with tamarind dip; a good portion size for £5.20. From their specials, a lamb raan bun (£12.50) pleased us greatly; stuffed full of tender, spiced slow-cooked lamb with pickles, it was served with fiery blistered chillis and a soothing slaw.
7 Boundary Street, London E2 7JE