100 Islington (CLOSED)
Time Out says
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Please note, this venue is now closed. Time Out Eating & Drinking editors, Jan 2017.
Up until now, I’d never been that bothered when waiters didn’t write my order down – they’d always got it right. My luck ran out at this otherwise excellent offshoot of 100 Hoxton, where I was forced to repeat my lengthy selection (it’s another small plates joint), my flighty memory buckling under the strain (I don’t carry a notepad either, you know). I got there eventually but, sure enough, an extra plate was delivered. Still, it didn’t end up on the bill, so I can’t moan too much.
I would have struggled to anyway. The food at this pan-Asian-by-way-of-Ottolenghi restaurant halfway down Upper Street is superb. Some of it borders on throwing the kitchen sink at a plate and seeing what sticks but the medleys mostly worked brilliantly. In fact the only real culinary complaints we had were a duck breast that could have been pinker and an okra dahl a little heavy on caramelised onion.
Lamb belly (‘what wankers call the breast’, according to my charming local butcher) with aubergine, burnt goat’s cheese, pine nuts, tahini and loads of harissa was a belter, as was rainbow trout with deliriously crispy skin, earthy brown shrimps, almonds, samphire and judiciously restrained pineapple. Even those dishes that read less excitingly (sweet potato salad with chunky pea purée, apple, mint and sesame seeds, and a fruity chilli fried rice with Chinese sausage and chilli prawn sambal) were great. Portions were huge, too.
That meant I didn’t try dessert, but judging by the coos over a mango, lime and lemongrass panna cotta next door, perhaps I should have forced one down. No matter – I’ll happily return.