Islington’s Galley was formed on the foundations of a healthy passion for food by brother and sister team Marcel Grzyb and Oriona Robb. The restaurant seems at home here in Upper Street, among independent boutiques and the nearby glint of antiques in Camden Passage. Deep velvet greens, bold prints and an eclectic assortment of furniture, softened by Persian rugs makes for a mentally stimulating visit, while jazz fitting of the surroundings tinkled through the speakers – appreciation to the thoughtful waitress who asked whether those speakers would be too loud. The colourful mishmash of design is reflected in the food, which is influenced by dishes from Europe, South America and Asia.
What is there to fault about Galley? Absolutely nothing. Fans of oysters will relish the selection here: choose from Irish (Carlingford) or Welsh (Menai), soaked in gin, pickled with jalapeño, or served with crunchy tempura or crispy chorizo. Follow it with fish, such as halibut on a tower of saucy, buttery mashed potatoes. Or get there for brunch at the weekend for duck egg and hash brown with homemade brown sauce, and linger over a bloody good bloody Mary.
Galley offers masterclasses on shucking and cocktail making, and once a month the Sunday Session offers five courses of seafood and wine, £70pp.