100 Islington has arrived on busy Upper Street with a competitively priced pan-Asian inspired menu in what was Ziloufs. The bar and restaurant is the second venue from those super talented chaps behind Shoreditch smash hit 100 Hoxton.
The premise is pretty simple: small plates, designed to share. We were encouraged to pick one dish from each of the five sections in order to create our very own unique tasting menu.
Dishes are served as and when they are ready, and first up came hot courgette & halloumi fritters. Served alongside cooling lemon yoghurt, they were squidgy and fat like a tasty bhaji. A refreshing cold noodle salad with strips of beef, cashews and watermelon managed to be substantial and light all at the same time.
Rainbow Trout came with a little pineapple salsa that split opinion, but the actual fish had been seasoned to crispy salty perfection – we loved.
Chargrilled Lamb Belly read like a list of all of our favourite ingredients – aubergine, burnt goat’s cheese, pine nuts, green tahini, harissa – the standout dish for us. Don’t expect delicately cooked pink lamb here, it’s more gnarly like brisket, with delicious burnt bits in the mix.
There is a short dessert menu to choose from. We opted for burnt custard which was way more appealing than it sounds, essentially a crème brulee topped with sweet summer fruits.
The cocktail menu is strong! With a floor to ceiling glass front that opens up on a hot summer’s day, the only thing you need to remember is the Aperol Spritz WITH ICE POP!! Hellllllo Summer. There is a decent selection of wines, served by the generous glass.
At lunchtime there is a great value lunch box for £5 to eat in or take away that is available for all, especially local workers on a tight budget or an even tighter schedule. A scaled down a la carte menu and a £15 set menu are also available for those with the time for a more leisurely lunch.
Overall a good value option on an increasingly buzzy Upper Street.