Test Driving Prawn on the Lawn - the restaurant and fishmonger impresses in its second coming

prawnlawnThe main event - Prawn on the Lawn!

What can you tell us about Prawn on the Lawn?

Essentially it's part seafood restaurant and part fishmonger. The restaurant features fish from day boats in Cornwall (where they have a second restaurant). The menu is almost entirely seafood based, with the odd vegetable dish. 

Where is it?

This is actually the second Prawn on the Lawn. The first opened just up the road a few years ago (in a space now taken on by Linden Stores). Now they're just a few seconds walk from Highbury Corner, almost next door to another Islington great, Trullo. Head to Highbury and Islington if you're coming on the tube. 

pollockPollock fillet, brown shrimps, nutmeg and crispy shallots

Where should we meet for a drink first?

The nearest option is probably the Hen and Chickens, although if the weather's on the sunny side you'll be better off heading to The Alwyne Castle just up the road or to the massive beer garden at The Canonbury nearby. And if you're in the mood for cocktails, then Little Bat (about five minutes walk) is where to go. 

That all said, there's a small drinking spot inside Prawn on the Lawn, and it's an ideal spot to grab a wine and get something from the winelist here. 

And where should we sit?

It's a small restaurant, so anywhere you can grab a seat. Although if there are only two of you, we rather like the counter where you can see the chefs in charge. 

potatoesThe amazing crushed spiced potatoes.

And what's on the menu?

Here's where we start with a big fat "it depends". There are only two menus in the restaurant and they're both blackboards on the wall. Not only will the seafood change on them, but the way the dishes are cooked changes regularly. We ordered pollock only to see the dish change half way through the night. In that way, it's the ideal neighbourhood restaurant - the menu changes so much that you can come back regularly and always be surprised. 

And that pollock fillet, brown shrimps, nutmeg and crispy shallots (£9.50) was the outright winner on the night - it reads as great as it tasted.

But the special stays the same?

That's one of the few dishes that you can guarantee being on the menu at all times, the titular Prawn on the Lawn (£7.50) - prawns spiked with chilli on a bed of avocado on bread. It's a wonderful dish and a must-have if you're a first-timer.

There are a few others that are regulars, including the fairly spectacular crushed spiced potatoes (£3.50). Frankly, we'd be happy to grab a stool at the bar and have a pot of these for ourselves (which we might well do, now that we think about it...).

prawnsSzechuan prawns

And you can choose whole fish to order too?

You can indeed, with three to four choices (on our visit it was John Dory, Gurnard, Brill and Lemon Sole). We went for the John Dory, choosing the Thai spiced preparation and it was beautifully done. Sure, it was a little on the small side - which we probably should have known. So depending on how hungry you are, you might want to take a quick glance at the fish counter in the window before you come in, to size up your main. 

And the wine list?

There's a good-sized wine list which, rather naturally, steers more to the white side. On the evening we visited, we opted for a Portuguese Vinho Verde - Quinta de Azevedo (£26) which we think is a good all-rounder that will please everyone. Wine prices start at £22 and heat upwards to £77 if you're in the mood for a 2013 Puligny Montrachet. Alternatively, there is also a short cocktail menu in case you fancy a Cornish Negroni (£10) and beer if you fancy a Harbour Cornish Pilsner (£5). 

doryJohn Dory


We're Islington locals and though we've visited Prawn on the Lawn in its previous incarnation a few times, this was our first time in the new site. And it suits them perfectly. A buzzing local restaurant with excellent seafood and a good wine selection. If you're swinging by Islington, you should definitely pop in for a couple of small plates and a glass - and if you're a local, this is unmissable. 

More about Prawn on the Lawn

Where: 292-294 St Paul's Rd, Highbury East, London N1 2LH

How to book: Book online or call 020 3302 8668

Find out moreVisit their website or follow them on Twitter @PrawnOnTheLawn.


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