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REVIEW: Prawn On The Lawn, Highbury & Islington

REVIEW: Prawn On The Lawn, Highbury & Islington

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With both parents hailing from the East End of London and growing up in the salty old fishing village of Leigh On Sea, Essex, fresh seafood has been intrinsic to my upbringing.

Boxing Day, Sunday lunches and every funeral I’ve ever attended start with an order from Osborne Bros along the Estuary shore, or a 3am trip to Billingsgate market for the  freshest crustaceans you can buy.

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Prawn On The Lawn, then, has been high on the ‘must-visit’ list since moving to East London. An adorably rustic seafood bar and fishmonger in the heart of Islington, the menu changes on a daily basis depending on what the fisherman have brought in – but from what we’d heard, it’s always delicious.

With just 32 covers (there’s now seating in the basement area), thick barrels to perch around and low, romantic lighting, the distinctly ‘local’ seafood shack smacks of something you’d see in the first date scene of a Richard Curtis film.

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Staff are super knowledgable and friendly, keen to help you sample something to your taste (which will be everything on the blackboard, but they can help you narrow it down).

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Taught by passionate owner Richard Toogood, who set it up with the help of a £30,000 loan from his parents when he was 28, you feel safe in their capable hands.

At the manager’s recommendation we began with sparkling Spanish wine served in a coupe glass, and signature dish Prawn On The Lawn – zesty, lime green avocado and prawns on a bed of soda bread.

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Next, razor clams, seared tuna with mirin, chilli and lime and an oyster each – one thick, creamy Jersey oyster and one from Lindisfarne with a dash of black pepper and lemon.

A beautiful crab curry was served hot and spicy, messy when devouring but totally satisfying. All this alongside baby gem lettuce with a rich truffle oil and Grana Padano, adding to the decadence.

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Everything about this visit was perfectly, perennially pleasant – from the lovely website to the chatty couple sat alongside us, happily recommending dishes as they explained how they loved the restaurant so much, they visited once a month.

Now all there’s left to do is visit Padstow, where Toogood has moved to open his second seafood joint – and get back beside the seaside, where he so obviously belongs.

Website: Prawnonthelawn.com

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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