Dreamed up by four foodie friends, this self-styled ‘part-time squatters’ restaurant’ is camped in Manze’s old pie and mash shop on Islington’s Chapel Market. Inside, the long dining room with its handsome Victorian tiling and low-hanging lights has generated quite a buzz with the ‘kooksters’ who pack its high-backed wooden booths to share stylish plates of seasonal game and fish over corkage-free BYO bottles of wine. The three-course menu (£30) changes weekly: on our visit, plump mussels came nicely accentuated by a sprightly leek and horseradish sauce, while tender venison haunch with redcurrant jus and triple-cooked chips provided a moreish combination of sweet and salt tones. To finish, an inspired, soufflé-like sponge with a marshmallow centre and a salted caramel was a plate-licking homage to the Mars bar. If you don’t mind the offbeat, ‘make do and mend’ approach, there’s much to applaud here.
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