Restaurants have a tendency to overcomplicate things. Rick and Katie, however, started theirs simply: fresh seafood, served in a fishmonger. Initially, they didn’t even have a hot food licence, but diners fell in love with Prawn on the Lawn regardless. After nearly a decade of outgrowing its shell and relocating, it now boasts permanent sites in Islington and Padstow.
Strolling past the Islington branch, you would be forgiven for only seeing a fishmonger. The walls are white-tiled and the window display is piled with stunning catches. But peer further in, and you will see Prawn on the Lawn’s hot food licence being put to good use.
After a chat with the well-versed, logo-adorned staff, we dived into our seafood odyssey. Fresh oysters, paired with sparkling Cornish rosé, whisked us to the beach in a heartbeat. With each slurp, this felt less and less like London. Next, heavenly scallops arrived in their shells, bathed in fiery ‘nduja butter and topped with fresh tarragon. Warm Coombeshead Farm sourdough was provided with a knowing nod from the staff. In the blink of an eye, the bread was gone and the shells were clean. Even the non-seafood options were stellar. A huge, intoxicatingly creamy burrata might seem like overkill. But, adorned with marinated anchovies and smoked almonds, it was spot-on.
The signature seafood stew, like the menu, changes daily. For us, it showcased fresh clams, giant prawns and monkfish. The orzo, a springtime addition to the stew, was imbued with warming broth, elevating the dish further. The pricing is fair, but it’s dangerously hard to stop ordering. The crispy, delicately spiced potatoes, for example, are insanely addictive.
When it comes to seafood in London, we would argue Prawn on the Lawn is a must. We left resembling the logo: smiling and licking our lips.