A stone’s throw from Camden’s Jazz Café is Hook Camden, a fish & chip restaurant promising a “new school” take on the Friday night favourite. With a stylish industrial feel interior, warmed with low lighting, florals and a few nautical nods, Hook Camden has booth sofa style seating or smaller tables for a more intimate meal.
We ordered the Calamari Hot Rings (£7). They were light and coated in crispy batter. We could have eaten a few bowls but were trying to save our appetite for mains. The starters selection had a good range from fish tacos to a charred octopus salad we might just have to pop back for.
Mains options at Hook Camden included a range of fresh fish – salmon, tuna and whole fried seabass and the option of ribs for meat lovers. Hook offer seasonal variety so change up the menu occasionally to showcase fresh produce at its peak!
There is a fish and chip menu offering a classic fish and chip option for purists as well as a jerk (in panko) or Thai and lemon/basil fish in tempura. All come with seaweed salt chips and sauces thoughtfully paired to each dish.
We chose the Jerk Fish & Chips (£12) and Tuna Steak (£17). The jerk fish was hake in panko breadcrumb, which was not overly spicy but a more subtle taste that didn’t overpower the fish and had the smoky aftertaste you will know if you have had good jerk. Panko meant the fish was brilliantly crunchy, no soggy batter here! We loved the chips, fluffy and sizeable for dipping into the mango spiced ketchup– a nice touch. I ordered the optional extra of tartar sauce to try with the fish and it did not disappoint. This definitely had all the elements of a traditional fish and chips (down to the paper it is served on) but very much restaurant standard.
The tuna steak was melt in the mouth and buttery soft, served with cannelloni beans, wild garlic, spring veg and salsa verde. The dish was light but filling. The wild garlic is a current seasonal special, so it was great to try it at its best – milder and sweeter than regular garlic, it had a real pop of flavour.
Hook Camden make their very own lemonades in house so we tried a tasty rhubarb and ginger. The cocktails are also all their own concoctions – I opted for the Mista-biscus (vodka, hibiscus, jasmine and grapefruit), decorated with dried hibiscus flowers which was a light, summery, fresh drink that was not overly sweetened and accompanied the mains really well.
We indulged in the Salt Caramel and Pretzel Pie which totally lived up to its promising name. With oozy caramel in a pretzel base accompanied by vanilla ice cream, a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of (more!) caramel the whole dish was a delight. Save space for this little number on your visit. to Hook Camden! A traditional Italian affogato or ice cream were alternative options at a very reasonable £3.
Hook Camden is a relaxed restaurant with a serious approach to food and great for a twist on fish and chips. Vegetarians take note, there was one veg starter and main option. The service was friendly and relaxed – a great spot to pop into if you are in Camden or looking to try something familiar with a fresh take.
East London Girl: Hook Camden