We Fell For This Camden Seafood Restaurant Hook, Line And Sinker
There are plenty of things to admire about Hook, even before the food arrives.
The seafood comes solely from sustainable small fisheries and day-boats, sourced daily. The takeaway cutlery is biodegradable, food is served in recycled and reusable wooden boxes.
Admiring's one matter, and smitten's another matter. And we're both of those by the time we leave Hook, after a series of dishes that start off really good and crescendo into startlingly great.
The menu's simple, seafood-focused and beautifully crammed with things we can't decide between. We end up clashing forks over three starters: monkfish carpaccio, tangy with pickled mushrooms, creamy with cauliflower; smoked salmon with avocado cream cheese; and some hefty, piping hot, battered fish tacos. All different, all equally worthy of our fight over the last bites.
Their claim to serve a 'new-school take on fish and chips' is bold. Purists' hackles are probably rising all over town at the whiff of hubris; tampering with a beloved British dish is a guaranteed source of outrage. Hook's new-school approach comes in panko breadcrumbs or tempura batter, and with seaweed salted chips. But look, if it's a comfort, we reckon those chips (and the jerk battered fish we have them with) rival the best fish and chips we've had anywhere in London. The hot mango ketchup is incredibly moreish, the chips are clouds-inside-crunch and those untraditional breadcrumbs keep the fish inside steamily soft.
But while the fish and chips are excellent, it's the crispy seabass and pancakes we really fall for. Hook, line and sinker. Everything about it's just a bit dazzling, from the riot of colours on the plate — silvery-charred fish served on the bone, a blanket of coriander, bullishly red sambal paste — to the raucous scramble of flavours. The DIY pancakes, stuffed with everything on offer, become explosions of soft fish and crunchy chilli, of tamarind kick and citrus coolness.
And we're hooked.
Hook, 63-65 Parkway, NW1 7PP.
Last Updated 18 May 2018