Velvety Booths, Christmassy Cocktails And Piles Of Spaghetti: This Islington Restaurant Is Doing Winter The Right Way
It's weird that there's room for us at Galley. It's not empty on the weekday evening when we visit. Instead, there's a scattering of diners and a satisfying buzz.
But shouldn't it be packed to the rafters with Islington punters looking for a cold-weather pitstop? Galley lends itself to that, with velvety banquettes and a general warmth seeping out of the medium-open kitchen. And they're doing winter right, the new menu scattered with hazelnuts and pancetta, alluring levels of carbs and whisky sauces featuring in the dessert menu. Cocktails have had a Christmassy revamp: the Winter Spiced Caramel is like a sleeker, martini-glassed hot toddy — chilled, but still with a thoroughly warming effect thanks to honey, cinnamon, caramel and a hefty hit of cognac.
Even the dishes we don't count as comfort food prove us stupidly wrong. The oysters we start with are delivered baked in a fiercely hot tomato sauce, topped with chewy bits of chorizo in a heartier twist on surf-and-turf.
From there on out it's a masterclass in carb-loading the elegant way; soft-shell crab balanced on piles of heavily-garlicked spaghetti, and a crispy-skinned slab of stone bass on a plate of herb gnocchi. Sticky toffee pudding comes with praline and whisky sauce. And every one of those is totally nailing the balance between artistry and good, proper stodge.
So, yeah. It's weird that there's room for us at Galley, but we're not complaining.
Galley, 105-106 Upper Street, N1 1QN.
Last Updated 29 November 2017