Water House

8 Orsman Road , London, N1 5QJ

SquareMeal Review of Water House

Perched on the Regent’s Canal, this stylish little spot is a barometer of the area’s increasing upward mobility. It’s also a nice place to eat. Last summer saw the closure of sister restaurant Acorn House, & the transplant of the latter’s head chef here. At lunchtime you’ll find Dalston locals tapping on their Macs & choosing from a simple, inexpensive blackboard menu. In the evenings, things get more sophisticated. English tomato soup with almond & basil pesto could segue into char-grilled lamb cutlets, carrot, cumin & tamarind, followed by wacky & wonderful desserts such as Jersey milk jelly, caramel popcorn & coriander-seed sablé. Tip-top ethical credentials include the expected focus on seasonality & sourcing, but this ‘social enterprise’ also trains local people, eschews bottled water in favour of filtered tap, & has a wormery to digest kitchen scraps.

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8.0

Food & Drink: 8.0

Service: 7.0

Atmosphere: 7.5

Value: 9.0

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Sarah S. 08 May 2012

Was so surprised to find this and have an enormous homemade burger and chips for £6. Even more impressive was the free bottled water on the table, not hassled to buy drinks, not charged service (apparently they only do that in the evening) and could have had a side salad instead of the chips, but the homemade chips were worth the calories (and the free mayo). Also nice atmosphere and they said they do take away…

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Marcy C. 16 February 2010

This is one of our ‘best finds’ of all our local restaurants. Whilst the food here can be slightly erratic, the young chefs are clearly aspirational and dedicated to interesting modern english cooking: when they hit the high notes with really good dish, you can't quite believe this restaurant isn't packed to the gills on a saturday night. When you take into account the low cost and high quality of the dishes served here, coupled with a nice wine list and a lovely canal side location (great in the summer) this restaurant deserves to be turning people away, yet it sometimes feels a bit lacklustre. A little more consistency, a few more options for vegetarians and girly carb-haters, and better presentation of the venue (not leaving sacks of ingredients all over the modern and tasteful bar, for example) could turn it into a real success. We will continue to support the team here – we think it has great potential – and if you're stuck for a neighbourhood restaurant and haven't tried it yet, I would thoroughly recommend the Water House. Just don't expect it to be Fifteen – you're not paying enough for that!

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