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