Alternative seafood in Islington

“Honouring British, seasonal produce whilst keeping lesser known fish at the forefront of a creative menu.” 

Trawler Trash is the perfect name for a restaurant that lives up to that exact motto. The newly opened seafood dining space can be found on Upper Street in Islington. It mixes up its decor between rustic (polished wood and exposed brickwork) with soft hues of blue and grey – representative of the ocean.

The real creativity though lies in the menu, giving lesser known and unpopular fish a starring role. Like cuttlefish, sardines, ling and witch sole.

The cuttlefish and sardines were tried for starters. The former was charred, cooked with kohlrabi and brought to life with a coriander dressing. Texture like squid but with more flavour, this dish worked well. The sardines, meanwhile, were grilled and served on a sourdough toast with olive pate and tomato salsa. Strong, salty flavour with a nice refreshing finish from the salsa. If you’re fussy about fish bones though, this one might not be for you.

The mains are no-fuss style cooking. The trash pie with greens is excellent in taste and hearty in portion, exactly what you’d expect from a traditional fish pie. The fish and chips is also no-nonsense. The hake, which is toast beer battered, is perfectly cooked. Crispy batter coating a sublime bit of fish that doesn’t break away when you cut into it. The chips are wholesome (proper chips) and come with crushed peas and tartare.

The proof is in the pudding and to be honest, with the focus being so much on the fish, I wasn’t expecting much from dessert. Oh how I was wrong! The buttermilk panna cotta with caramelised plums tasted as if Christmas had come very early, while the chocolate and pistachio brownie with the vanilla ice cream was just amazing.

Quirky and tongue-in-cheek, they don’t take themselves too seriously, yet still manage to serve up really great dishes based on an interesting and worthwhile concept.

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