This totally charming fish restaurant in the heart of Camden Stables market goes from strength to strength. They still have their wide range of delicious fresh fish and seafood, including famously their lobsters (ring ahead to reserve one), but have more "made up dishes" and now offer a "proper wine list" which has moved on from the "red or white?" choice of earlier days (all still very well chosen) and a wider choice of puddings. The eclectic objets that form the decor make this a very English restaurant but for laid-back ambiance you could be in a beach shack in the Caribbean.
It's been a while since I had had the chance to visit Seawise but it was ideal for a Good Friday lunch with a non-meat-eating friend who lives in Camden Town. I knew the meal would go on and on while we caught up on years of news, but that we would not be hassled to finish and move out. The warmth of the "welcome back" was matched by the portable heaters which were needed on this bitterly cold day. When I had rung to check they would be open, James remembered my liking for winkles and bought some in specially. Similarly they went out to buy some tomato juice for my friend, who was recovering from dental surgery and thus on antibiotics (no alcohol) and soft food.
With my tasty (worth the fiddle) winkles I had a portion of succulent shell-on prawns, while my friend had crab and coriander cakes. I sneaked a taste and they were gorgeous. The winkles were great but I think they have got a bit smaller since I was a child and worry that they are being fished out.
We then both chose fishcakes; I had the (daily special) smoked haddock and spinach with parmesan served with hot crispy hand cut chips, my friend the salmon cakes. I had intended to add a side order of samphire (seaweed), both delicious and rich in vitamins and minerals, but forgot under the influence of the lovely (fruity but not at all sweet) chardonnay. It was a toss-up for me whether to have the fishcakes or the (daily special) salt & pepper squid which I know to be fabulous. I shall obviously have to go again soon. And I can't wait for warmer days to sit outside and watch the world go by.
We both ate puddings of some sort of fruity ice cream and my friend's frozen yogurt with berries was so good that she ordered a second.
The prices remain extremely reasonable, especially given the extremely high quality, and are now enhanced by their Loyalty Card scheme and special offers by email - we benefited from a buy-one-get-one-free on main courses during the Easter weekend (bot would have gone there anyway).
Seawise has also signed up to a buy-one-set-one-free scheme with the lobster hatchery in Padstow, so if you feel benevolent after your lunch and want to make a difference to the future of fish stocks, they will match your £1.75 donation to pay to release a hatchery-bred lobster to go off and breed in the wild. Feel good has never been so satisfying.
NB They also do takeaways.
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