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The Islington Townhouse
Credit where credit’s due, the chef at this gastropub can certainly cook: his rare breed pork chop is a slab of fat, meaty awesomeness in a beautiful stroganoff-esque sauce; he can grill a stone bass until the edges crisp up beautifully; and his chocolate fondant will have you making noises worthy of ‘When Harry Met Sally’. However, on my Friday night visit, they were banging out music so loud that plates were rattling around the table. No one else in the entire venue was eating – and who could blame them? I’d booked weeks in advance, yet instead of putting us in the upstairs restaurant area, they stuck us on little armchairs above the DJ, pounding out house tunes so deafening that our conversation ran like this: ‘I can’t hear you.’ ‘Sorry, what was that?’ ‘I CAN’T HEAR YOU!’ ‘SORRY, WHAT WAS THAT?’ ‘Never mind. I hate this place.’ ‘Me too.’ Bizarre, really. The website makes it sound like a gastropub, the food tastes like a gastropub’s and – despite the DJ’s best efforts – the place even feels like one. On a lunchtime or a quiet weekday evening, this could be a good spot for a meal. Assuming they keep the volume down.
Venue says: “Two-for-one cocktails, Mon-Thur, 5-7pm.”