CamdenNewJournal

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Take a look at Hook, much more than just chips

Camden Town restaurant’s innovative fish and chips, served in a swish modern space, have featured on two television shows

20 April, 2018 — By Tom Moggach

Hook, located in Parkway, Camden Town, has just re-opened after a refit

A SPRINKLING of stardust can save the fortunes of a start-up restaurant.

Hook, located in Parkway in Camden Town, scored a major coup when their innovative fish and chips featured on two television shows. One celebrity chef, the now-ultra-slim Tom Kerridge, even proclaimed them among the best in the country. This splash of publicity helped keep the business afloat – despite tough times for the restaurant business.

Hook has just re-opened after a refit. The young owners have cut the space almost in half, keeping the adjacent property for new ventures – more on this later.

The menu, too, has been overhauled. Hook is more than just fish and chips – impeccably sourced, of course, from day boats and sustainable fisheries. Beef rib, aubergine parmigiana and chorizo-stuffed squid are among the alternative dishes.

We pitched up on a Saturday night and the place was buzzing. Most diners were in their 20s; although a lady of more mature years, sitting alone, was happily munching haddock and seaweed-salted chips by the front window.

It’s a swish modern space, done up in blues and greys. One wall is stacked floor to ceiling with the wooden boxes used to serve their signature dish.

We roamed around the menu, which has a pan-global vibe.

They make all drinks and sauces from scratch – which lifts the dining experience. Top marks for a raspberry and lemon thyme lemonade, which was sunshine in a glass. My friend’s gin smash was original, too, blitzed emerald green with a sprigs of basil.

To be honest, our tempura vegetables were on the stodgy side – heavy chunks rather than delicate morsels.

Chorizo-stuffed squid was better: bursting with flavour and messy to eat. (Top tips: chop in half then use your fingers; don’t order if you’re on a date).

Other starters include fish tacos, smoked salmon and monkfish carpaccio with pickled mushrooms.

Hook offers four riffs on fish and chips – all £12: classic with Panko breadcrumbs; a Thai version; jerk-style with mango ketchup; or lemon and basil with garlic truffle sauce.

Judging from our fellow diners, they all hit the spot. The chips, hand cut with their skins, are also highly addictive.

We shared the chef’s signature dish, a deep-fried seabass smothered in fresh herbs, fresh red chilli and served with a Malaysian sambal sauce. This is a killer dish to share: assemble your own pancakes with chunks of fish and these aromatics, much like classic crispy duck.

The dessert list is brief, with affogato, ice cream and a pretzel pie. The latter tasted divine, although the base was baked hard and tough to penetrate.

All credit to Hook for their creative ambition. Our order included a lot of deep-fried elements; I craved some side salads on the menu to balance this out.

Keep your eyes peeled for the team’s next venture. In the next fortnight or so, Cookoo will be opening next door. Expect innovative salads spiced up with their trademark flavours from around the world.

Hook Camden
63-65 Parkway, NW1
020 7482 0475
www.hookrestaurants.com

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