Looking to lay in some bait prior to a date with the Players on a Friday night we had a stroll around Crouch End, open to suggestion. Bistro Aix, which had its door open, was a bit Marie Celeste like with music blaring out, provoking us into a rapid retreat. Matthew’s Kitchen on the other hand looked very inviting with its window open onto the street and a friendly smile from the waitress as she showed us into the room. Early on a Friday evening the room soon filled up with a good selection of locals while we looked at the menu.
MK specialises in fish (though you can get meat off the grill if you’re a carnivore and veggie dishes if you’re a herbivore). Smoked mackerel with beetroot and horseradish leapt off the page at me as a good test of a fish restaurant. This warhorse can be memorable or forgettable depending on whether it’s served or cold both in temperature and creativity. I took a main of cod loin with veggies and a bit of mash potato on the side.
The mackerel was only ok – a generous piece of cold smoked fish with plenty of beetroot but not a hint of horseradish in the sauce. I know that horseradish is a powerful beast but I do want to taste it if I’ve ordered it. The cod on the other hand was much superior. Perfectly cooked and just what I wanted. Even better looked the bacon-wrapped monkfish across the way.
A very good Riesling for 30-odd quid was a good accompaniment. I’d go back to Matthew’s Kitchen – for Crouch End on a Friday evening it was very peaceful with a perfect atmosphere for a bright summer’s evening.
To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016-18 check out my GoogleMap
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).