Age: Very young, about two months.
Previous incarnation: Long-standing rustic restaurant Elk in the Woods was housed in the spot for a decade and a half before closing in June. The only hint it was shutting its doors? A lonely tweet announcing they were selling some tables.
Where exactly is it? Camden Passage, the picturesque car-free walkway just off Upper Street (closest station is Angel). The thoroughfare is filled with both vintage and contemporary shops, outdoor markets and places to eat and drink. Master chocolatiers Paul A Young have a store a few doors down, as do stylish jewelers Posh Totty.
So what goes on there? A Mediterranean all-day eatery dishing up delectable morsels such as oat porridge topped with dried apricot reduction, raspberry coulis and flaked almonds for brekkie; and pork belly with fried egg, cucumber, spring onion, sriracha and tomato relish in a Cretan pita for lunch. Come evening, it’s small-plate heaven with the likes of grilled octopus, fava puree, pink peppercorn vierge and charcoal oil. Influences from around the world slip in here and there, most notably with the nighttime menu. The three chaps behind the place have an acclaimed brunch joint in Balham by the same name.
What do I eat? We visit for dinner and there’s not a dud dish; opt for five or six and share. Must-order is the hunk of charred cauliflower (£6.50) slathered in chunky kassoundi, a fiery tomato-based chutney hailing from Asia. Next-up is buttermilk-fried chicken (£9.50) perched on a mound of muhammara, a Turkish dip made from red peppers, chilli flakes, walnuts and cumin. Full of texture and flavour, it could feature as a standalone in the snack section. Plates scraped clean, we move on to super tender lemon and oregano lamb chops (£14,50); flecks of the charred herb smatter the still-pink meat. Also worthy of mention is the creamy chargrilled aubergine (£7.50) doused with mint, lemon zest and nutty tahini.
What do I drink? Do not miss the cocktails: their espresso martini (£9) made using spiced rum and tentura (a Greek liqueur with flavours of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and citrus) is one of the best in town. Wine and beer lovers are well-catered for too: we particularly enjoy the Rouvalis, Roditis Asprolithi, a fresh and mineral Hellenic white (£6 a glass).
The interior? Super stylish: two dimly-lit inviting rooms strewn with foliage, decorated with a mixture of tiles and wood-panelling. The space is decked out with simple tables and a handful of counter seats at the window. The jazzy soundtrack creates a relaxed vibe.
What’s the service like? Friendly, chatty, and on the ball for the most part. A small snagging point: food comes out a little too quickly and virtually all at once.
Do say: “Can we book your semi-private dining room please?”
Don’t say: “We’d like to book a table for brunch for two people.”
Main image: PR