Western's Laundry, Holloway
The world and his wife has been to Western's Laundry and loved it since its opening in May, and I'm no different. From the team behind Stoke Newington's Primeur (don't know, haven't been), this neighbourhood restaurant dedicated to the freshest of British seafood with a snazzy biodynamic wine list to go is quite the catch.
The interior is smart casual with vast sharing style tables - and top marks for a) being bookable - even on a Friday night, and b) writing said bookings in this cute way...
The menu is smallish plates (of course it is), with the more expensive ones reflecting the larger sized. It's all written up on the big blackboard and shared on Instagram a few hours before service, but, look everything is going to be tremendous anyway so who cares?
It's kind of arbitrary me telling you what we had as no doubt it won't be on for your visit, but I'll run through so you get the gist. Croquettes for a start, feature regularly with different fillings and mark my words they'll be so crisply piping hot and perfect it won't matter what's in them. These were lobster and crab atop some vampire-worthy aioli and we had to order more they were so darn delicious.
The little velvet swimmer crabs from the title shot were sweet - in both senses - and if you don't mind fiddling about a bit with the tools, you'll be rewarded.
This is a mackerel and seaweed vinaigrette on toast and it's one of those dishes where it's more than the sum of its parts, with the mackerel being elevated to something far more than its fairly humble status. Loved it.
A plate of cured trout, fennel (shaved and fronds) and lemon was light, summery and offered a bit of freshness against a menu loaded with protein.
Excusing the ever-present poorness of my photos (it had got darker and fuzzier by now), this ox heart with watercress and pickled walnuts is a fine example of entry point offal. It was almost like fillet steak, had you not known, save for its iron tang.
Wines are plentiful and interesting and many are both by the glass and the carafe. For four of us (plus a few extra dishes to the ones I've mentioned) the total was £37 which involved 2 carafes of decent wine and a few glasses of fizz. Not your normal N5 prices, but far far removed from normal N5 food.
PS. Should you need a pre-drink, I'd highly recommend the Highbury Library five minutes up the road, as options are not plentiful and the gin is good and cold.