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REVIEW: Elk In The Woods, Islington

REVIEW: Elk In The Woods, Islington

elk in the woods kebab

There’s no shortage of trendy eateries along Camden Passage, that pretty side street lined with cafes, vintage shops and clothing boutiques teeming with yummy mummies and young workers getting out to explore gentrified London on their precious Saturday mornings. Elk In The Woods is a word-of-mouth type of place, not shouting from the rooftops with bright decor or neon signage, but sitting quietly with brown wooden interiors and a small outdoor seating area.

The odd set of deer antlers, mismatched hanging mirrors and chintzy wallpaper adhere to the current trend for threadbare, worn-out decor harking back to yesteryear – it’s rather like going for dinner in an old-fashioned ski lodge, without the contrived extras somewhere like Bodos Schloss have employed to conjure up the same warm atmosphere.

elk in the woods islngton interior

Food is really great, the menu unique and varied. It’s not cheap, but no more overpriced than its competitors (and boy are there a lot of them in this bustling area). We started with the elk kebab (meaty, filling and beautifully presented – we loved it at £6.50) and the soft shell crab burger in a warm brioche bun, with char-grilled avocado, chilli and lime, ginger mayonnaise and pea shoots – tender meat and excellent sauce, if a little on the small side.

At £10.50, one would hope the crab burger would be enough for a lunch order without a ‘small’ plate to go with it, but you definitely need a side – we went for oak and apple wood smoked potato skins with caramelised onion and reblochon cheese (£4.50), which were very tasty and together would make a fine lunch portion, but might leave some wanting at dinner time.

the elk in the woods angel islington london

Finally, we tried the roast lemon and marjoram chicken with toasted pine nuts, French beans, confit of shallot, sautéed potato and chicken jus – again, delicious. Cocktails alongside this were short and strong – many of the inventive options including fresh fruit. We adored the Climbing For Honeycomb, with muddled blackberries and basil, Appleton vx rum, crushed ice, cassis and sweet rum liqueur.

the elk in the woods islington

Managerial staff were excellent on this occasion but we have to add, we’ve returned to The Elk In The Woods since our review visit and twice now experienced waiting staff who were seemingly too busy to seat us in a half empty restaurant – a bit of a shame. It should be stressed, though, that this won’t deter us from coming back – the vibe is pleasant, the food tasty and the location unbeatable.

Address: 37-39 Camden Passage London N1 8EA / Tel: 020 7226 3535

Website: The-elk-in-the-woods.co.uk

Amy @ FashionBite xx

Amy Everett is FashionBite's food and travel editor, she also writes for national newspapers and magazines including the Guardian Travel, Stylist, Shortlist, Red, Cosmopolitan and more.

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