Meals usually fall into one of three categories: those which were fine but nothing to write home about, those which were good but not exceptional, and those which you will remember, and probably bang on about, for a very long time.
And I will be banging on about Wednesday, an evening which embodied everything I hoped a London life would be, for a long time.
Before I talk about Prawn on the Lawn – a gorgeous little seafood restaurant which is a stone’s throw from Highbury & Islington station, let me set the scene.
On a busy tube headed north, I somehow ended up sitting next to the lead singer of one of my favourite bands, Sea Girls. After a minute or so of awkward gushing and tales of how much “me and my friend love Sea Girls”, we ended up chatting about writing, and I may have said something about commas – very rock and roll.
When I met my friend Lecsi at the station, overexcitement set the tone for the evening and made a memorable evening even more memorable.
The restaurant itself is just right. The combination of wooden floors, exposed brick and strategically placed festive cushions, coupled with low-lighting and an excellent playlist of Indie favourites created a lovely, buzzy atmosphere and it’s definitely somewhere you would want to spend an evening.
Lecsi and I started with taramasalata and seaweed crisp bread.
The creamy and salty dip made from cod roe, and the crunchiness of the crisp bread worked wonderfully together and made us very excited for what was to come.
Next up was oysters.
We started with two jersey oysters, paired with a splash of lemon juice and a teaspoon of pickled shallots.
The salty oyster contrasted with the acidity of the lemon and shallots was delightful.
However, the deep fried oyster served with garlic creme fraiche stole the show.
The batter was perfectly crisp, and the punchy combination of garlic and tangy crème fraiche was perfect, and we couldn’t get enough of it.
While the oysters were a hard act to follow, the scallops, which came highly recommended, did a pretty good job.
They were served with a Thai marinade which was flavourful without being overpowering. The scallops themselves were divine, and melted in the mouth.
Other notable dishes at Prawn on the Lawn included the sea trout ceviche with a Peruvian dressing which was delicate and refreshing, the sardines which were served with feta, dill, mint, basil and pine nuts.
The fusion of flavour between the rich and oily sardines, the salty feta and the fragrant herbs was delicious, and I will definitely be attempting to recreate it at home.
In terms of sides, the crushed spiced potatoes were equally delicious in their own right, perfectly spiced and completely crispy, and balanced well with the other dishes.
I must give a special shout out to the coombeshead sourdough with seaweed butter.
The bread was warm and the seafood butter was satisfyingly salty.
It also did a great job of mopping up the alo blanco, a sweet, smooth almond soup, which was served with mussels and edamame.
We somehow had room for pudding, and shared a dark chocolate and orange mouse which was indulgent and rich, but not too much and the sweetness of the orange cut through perfectly.
To wash it all down, we opted for a chilli cucumber margarita – with emphasis on the chilli, and a glass of orange wine, its fruity flavour making it a nice option for an after-dinner drink.
Overall, the meal was superb and I’m still dreaming of those deep-fried oysters.
I will definitely be going back to Prawn on the Lawn, and I’d strongly suggest you do the same.
I also want to give a big shout out to the staff at Prawn on the Lawn who were all so lovely and couldn’t have recommended better dishes.