From the Randall and Aubin’s ex head chef Marcel Grzyb and sister Oriona Robb comes an all new seafood dining experience in the form of Galley.
From the outside, Galley already looks warm and friendly, with a bustling, fervent energy that washes over you from the moment you step in, packed to the very brim with waiters and hungry diners. The tables are white marble and the bar very elegant, betrayed only by its walls, lined with quirky framed art prints.
But enough about the décor, we all know what we want to know about is the food.
Against all odds, we managed to get a great table. Our waiter was attentive and actually shared with us some ideas of what we should order. Without further delay, We ended up ordering four appetizers and one main, and shared between the two of us, left us satisfyingly filled and with great aftertastes in our mouths.
We started off with the Yellowfin Tuna Tartare (£11), served with mango and avocado, wasabi nori chips and drizzled over with teriyaki sauce. This was a great choice to start off with, as the bus ride over to Islington had left us slightly queasy, and the tart taste of the mango woke our tastebuds right up. The tuna was delightfully fresh and as a whole, the combination of tastes and textures left us hungry for more.
Our second dish, the Hand Dived In-Shell Scottish Scallops (£9) came with two scallops in a cardamom puree and toasted hazelnuts. You can’t really go wrong with scallops, but again, what really impressed us was how fresh, plump and juicy the scallops were. They were also plated beautifully on a bed of white salt, made to resemble pebbles on a beach, so take note of this, people on Instagram and Snapchat!
Having such a good start could only entail more good things to come, and we were right – there was still more great things on the menu to be eaten.
We ordered the Crispy Cornish Squid (£8), which was basically calamari, but done to perfection, the batter crispy and a perfect shell to the squid, which was soft enough to chew through with a single bite. This dish would definitely go well with a good German Riesling or craft beer with a more tart finish.
And then came our main course – the Pan-fried Sea Bass (£19.50), served with gnocchi, peas, courgettes and wild mushrooms in an aromatic drizzle of truffle oil. Truffle oil just makes everything taste better, and already being a fan of gnocchi, I wasn’t expecting to love it even more. Surprisingly, the truffle aroma didn’t mess with the sea bass at all, and left it still fishy, still crispy, still fresh. I never knew pan fried fish could taste this good, and one bite of the melt in your mouth fish and I knew once more that all fish have the potential to be good fish. Pan fried to perfection. With skill and precision. Simply delightful.
Deciding we still needed something else to end off the meal, we went for the Loch Ryan Salmon (£9). It’s a small portion, consisting only five cubes of salmon, but each piece was crisp on the outside and still slightly rare on the inside, each cube a zen-like moment of bliss for the mouth. I’m not a fan of ginger, but the ginger dressing only registered to me as ‘Wow, whatever this sauce is, it’s great’. The dish also came with two tempura oysters, a posh and very nice way to end off the meal.
It’s been a while since I last had any really good seafood, and Galley answered my craving to a T. It’s not the cheapest place around, but it’s definitely brought yet another touch of class to the Islington district, and whatever you’re paying for, by Jove it’s worth it. Highly recommended.
Im giving Galley, 4.5/5 bakchors.
105-106 Upper Street
London N1 1QN