Restaurant review: Fishy Business at Camden beach, Chalk Farm, NW1

Freshly grilled and tasty fish on offer Pic: Stuart Leech

Freshly grilled and tasty fish on offer Pic: Stuart Leech - Credit: Stuart Leech

The idea of importing 150 tonnes of sand into zone 2 to create a kind of urban beach may seem a strange one, especially given the temperamental British summer, but that’s what the Roundhouse crew have done to their terrace for the next few weeks.

With the sun beaming through the canopy, it's a bit like being on holiday Pic: Stuart Leech

With the sun beaming through the canopy, it's a bit like being on holiday Pic: Stuart Leech - Credit: Stuart Leech

And it actually works, on a sunny night, cocktail in hand and laid back beats blasting from the speakers it’s very easy to imagine you are somewhere a bit more Balearic than NW1.

The pop-up restaurant Fishy Business, from the team behind the Roundhouse’s Made In Camden, continues the holiday theme – sipping a glass of chilled white wine as the rays beat down waiting for your fresh grilled fish is not what I normally do after work.

While the beach has a barbecue shack and a Ben and Jerry’s stall, the smart move is definitely the restaurant, not only is it very pleasant, but booking a table helps you avoid the mammoth queue to get on the beach in the first place (which can be two hours or more).

It’s a set three-course ­affair, with a glass of wine, for just under £25. It’s all seafood, apart from the dessert (although the chef did an admirable job whipping up a last minute veggie option for one of our number).


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The starter is fixed; shared helpings of lavishly smooth salmon roulade, a rather fishy crab concoction and an honest, chunky mackerel pate, with healthy hunks of sourdough bread. All very tasty and sociable.

Then there’s a bit of choice for the main – a range of fish and chips, crustaceans or grilled fish. Our sea bream was served filleted, with crispy skin lending lots of oceanic flavour, and a hint of zip from the vierge sauce.

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Meanwhile the bass was also filleted and un-skinned, with firm and succulent white flesh drizzled in sweet dressing and tangy lime tabouleh: lovely stuff.

The puddings were a bit of an afterthought (pistachio ice cream, lychee sorbet or Pimm’s jelly) but our overall feeling was of enjoying the kind of Mediterranean lifestyle we envy our continental cousins – drinks and fresh fish for tea with friends in the sunshine.

The beach is only in Camden until the August Bank Holiday, but get down there while you can .

It’s pretty much a must-do this summer.

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