If you thought marine kitsch was peculiar to English restaurants, come to Green Lanes for proof that few fish specialists can resist letting rip with the piscine theme. Shells and dried fish dangle from fishing nets that festoon Sariyer Balik’s cosy street-level restaurant (there’s more space downstairs). But under guidance from a twinkling half-Turkish, half-Italian patron, the kitchen steers clear of gimmicks. Hot starters included slightly soggy though tender vodka-marinated kalamar, mussels in batter, and delicious buttery prawns cooked with spring onions and tomato. The bread, essential for juice-mopping, is well up to standard. Cold starters – one resembling russian salad – were overwhelmingly heavy on the yoghurt. The owner told us which fish were freshest, and the ensuing mackerel, sea bass and bream tasted as if they’d been grilled on the beach. Maybe, though, the menu should be a handwritten selection of what’s best, and not a routine list including what can’t be recommended. A crunchy salad (carrot, red cabbage, mooli) was all that was needed to make the also-unordered syrup-soaked sponges surplus to requirements, and turkish coffee essential as a digestif. All wines are Turkish and if our choice was typical, very drinkable.
|Venue name:||Sariyer Balik||Contact:|
56 Green Lanes
|Opening hours:||Meals served 5pm-1am daily.|
|Transport:||Tube: Canonbury rail/73, 141, 236, 341 bus|
|Price:||Main courses £6.50-£10.|
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