Gilly's Fry Bar (CLOSED)
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A Japanese-inspired fish-and-chip shop in Finsbury Park.
Please note, Gilly's Fry Bar Finsbury Park has now closed. Time Out Food editors, May 2018.
What’s on offer at your local chippy? Probably not raw salmon. But that’s the vibe at Gilly’s Fry Bar, where Neil Gill – who also runs the popular Stroud Green Road spot Season Kitchen – has fused a classic fish-and-chip shop with the tempura bars of Japan. It’s a fairly small spot with simple decor, while a few touches like a colourful bead curtain hiding the kitchen and a shelf filled with jars of pickled onions offer nods to proper old-school chippies. These subtle references continue on the drinks menu, with pickled onion shots and a punchy salt-and-vinegar martini garnished with samphire.
The food menu is divided into ‘fry’, ‘raw’, ‘snacks’ and ‘sides’ – a mix of chip-shop classics plus a few curveballs. The sweetcorn scraps were an excellent way to kick things off: crunchy, spiked with paprika and deliciously moreish. Everything from the ‘fry’ menu is cooked in a tempura batter that’s light and not at all greasy – the hake and cod were beautifully fresh, while earthy shitake mushrooms held their own against the light batter. Naturally, there’s curry sauce to dip your chips in, which is nothing like the generic brown slop you normally get. If you can feel your arteries clogging up from all the fried stuff, the raw selection is also worth trying – the raw sea bass drizzled with oil, fresh chilli and tarragon was simple but delicious. Save room for some deep-fried Celebrations, though – yes, they’re obscenely unhealthy but they’re totally decadent and that’s the point.
Most dishes are priced between £3 and £7, and they’re all technically ‘small plates’, but the portions are generous, so it’s good value. The premise of Gilly’s might sound a bit bonkers (and it is) but somehow it works. Best of all? There’s not a saveloy in sight.
4A Clifton Terrace
|Transport:||Tube: Finsbury Park|
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