We first visited Prawn on the Lawn at their Padstow restaurant and fell a little bit in love with the place. But husband and wife team Rick and Katie first opened a fishmonger cum restaurant in Islington and they’ve since moved a few doors down the road to a bigger space – the old Le Coq site.
One half is still dedicated to selling fresh fish and the rest is dining room with seats up at the counter overlooking the open kitchen – definitely the funnest place to sit. The menu, which changes depending on what they get in, is up on the blackboard.
We start with their signature dish, a prawn on the lawn (£7.50) which consists of fresh and bouncy prawns on homemade soda bread topped with avocado and chilli. It’s such a simple but joyous thing to eat.
Scallops (£9 for three) come in their shell and sit in a puddle of the most fragrant thai marinade. Octopus and romesco (£12.50) has crispy bits which gives the giant tentacle texture. The sweet, nutty red pepper sauce is a great companion for it.
A bowl of taramasalata (£5) is a taste of the seaside – it’s full-on I’ll give it that but most delicious. We run out of crackers so use the crushed spiced potatoes (£3.50) to scoop up the rest – definitely order both.
Megrim sole (£9.50) is cooked a la plancha then covered in a green sauce; all herby and garlicky. It reminds me of the slip sole at The Sportsman in Kent – simple perfection. Szechuan prawns (£8.50) are as fiery as you’d hope.
The real stars however are two tiger prawns from the counter (£12.50). They’re so big the prawn meat is chopped up and put back in the shell – it’s like lobster. The sprinkling of peanuts gives the whole thing texture.
For pudding we share a salted caramel pot which is sweet and salty in perfect quantities. It’s topped with tangy yoghurt to cut through the richness of it all.
Why Prawn on the Lawn is so bloomin’ good is its simplicity. The dishes aren’t confusing or testing – they’re just really enjoyable to eat which isn’t as common as it should be these days. If seafood is your bag, this one is a must.
Would we go back? Yes.
We dined as guests of the restaurant