The sounds of the sea, a cartoon crab and a link to an infrequently updated facebook page. The website of Marisko, a seafood restaurant, on Camden Road (Islington, London) doesn’t exactly do much for a young, internet-savvy young adult.
However, the outside of the restaurant, which I have passed on the bus from time to time, for over a year really looked interesting. You can see it is a small venue, attached behind a bar, but the idea of a self-service seafood restaurant was really the thing that intrigued me.
The nearest I’ve ever got to a seafood restaurant is a sit-in fish and chip place and there’s no chance that counts! But, as a fish-eater rather than a meat eater, I sometimes want to go for something a little more than haddock or fishcakes and have lobster, squid or crab.
Luckily, my interest in going was finally able to become a possibility when they put a voucher on Groupon, suddenly it was affordable to me! A whole lobster, side of squid, chips and salad plus dessert for two people making it a much more affordable price for my partner and I as students.
We entered the restaurant to hear the sound of jazz, to see seafood across ice on a counter and a child-friendly atmosphere. It’s certainly an interesting mix with orange decor, fishing nets and ship items around the place and the logo, a cartoon crab, making many appearances.
Because we had a specific deal we didn’t have to choose a specific lobster or weight of produce. But had I wanted mussels I could have said which ones or how much in weight, allowing for somebody to indulge as much or little as wanted (or can afford).
They had a decent selection of wine, though surprisingly no red wine was on offer. While red wine and seafood aren’t a traditional mix there are some out there that match quite well. We opted for a rose, and it worked well with the lobster, it’s good to see restaurants make an educated choice about what drinks to provide. They also do beer and soft drinks, should wine not be your thing.
Finally the food arrived, it looked and smelt divine. The lobster body cut in two with a covering of garlic and seasoning placed with the claws uncracked on the sides, all placed between salad at one end and chips at the other of the sharing platter. The lightly battered and fried squid came as a side on a different plate.
Dessert was simple but very interesting, a zingy, light and delighful lemon sorbet placed within a frozen hollowed out lemon. Making full use of the ingredients and produce and giving it a quirky, if all be it perhaps overly simple, appearance.
It was perhaps some of the tastiest seafood I have ever had. Well cooked, flavoured perfectly to compliment and quite clearly very fresh. Certainly worth the money paid. Would I have paid the full prices? Probably not, not because I don’t think it is worth it, but rather because personally it’s a little too pricy for me.
The staff were attentive, but personally I don’t want to have a table wiped and everything moved around between courses. I feel that waiting until we left would have been a lot less awkward for not just us but the member of staff too. The chef is clearly brilliant but the waiter(esse)s aren’t at fine dining level, luckily I don’t think that’s the aim of the place.
Go for an exciting experience and for tasty food, but go with a reasonable amount for how much you would like to spend. I’d give this place 3.5 out 5 stars overall.
To find out more visit their website, which is also mobile friendly: marisko.co.uk