Westerns Laundry sits tucked away in North London but is a serious big-hitter when it comes to seafood. Menus, scrawled on the chalkboard each day, change constantly. The common theme, however, is top-quality seafood, prepared in creative ways with excellent British vegetables. From the cellar, you can expect a selection of low-intervention wines from small, independent producers.
Dishes vary in size, from modest snacks to large feasting plates. We recommend going in a group so you can cover as much ground as possible. Pickles might be the first thing to arrive, or perhaps oysters with shallot vinegar. It's worth mentioning that, while this probably isn't the best place to take a vegetarian, there are some fish-free dishes. Gem lettuce, spiked with anchovy and dusted with parmesan might start off the veg meal. From there, you might see ricotta and spinach malfatti with hazelnuts and wild garlic or cow curds with braised courgettes, mint and crumbs as a mains-sized plate.
Back to the seafood, which is the star of the show. Smaller plates celebrate fish and shellfish beautifully, with entries like raw gurnard with chilli and coriander or classic mussels with white wine, garlic and parsley. Later in the meal, the energy is sustained by creations like monkfish with white beans, artichoke and salmoriglio (a herby Italian sauce) or pollock with sea beets, pink firs and warm tartare sauce. If you are more of a meat person, there's usually a large meat plate like lamb leg with polenta, chard and black olive.
Desserts here are just as decadent as what precedes them, so you might see a giant rum-soaked baba to follow. Aside from the independent wines, diners at Westerns Laundry can opt for a negroni, house beer or vermouth spritz, as well as a range of teas. For creative seafood in north London, this is definitely worth a stop.