Trash by name, but not by nature – Gemma and I thoroughly enjoyed our first experience of the latest seafood restaurant to grace Upper Street with its presence.
In truth, the “trash” signifies the restaurant’s commitment to serving fish that often get disregarded in favour of the traditional catch. The Trawler Trash team are sustainability warriors and we loved that before we even clapped eyes on the menu.
True to the hype, when we ordered cured herring the manager very politely told us they wouldn’t be serving that dish this evening as the chef wasn’t happy with the standard of the fish they had received. Disappointing, perhaps, but we have a soft spot for a restaurant that won’t knowingly serve anything but the best.
So what did we eat? We tried (and happily polished off) three of the starters: air dried charred octopus with green tomatoes and chill, whitebait panzanella and lastly spicy potted clams with dark rye bread.
The octopus is hands down the most tender and delicious octopus Gemma and I have ever had. We cannot rate it enough – zesty, acidic and tender. The panzanella worked nicely with the whitebait, however, we felt this dish needed a little more zest and perhaps a dip or dressing to lighten the fish up and cut through the batter. The spicy clams were a pleasant surprise, we weren’t expected this dish to be chilled, but it worked really well with the dark rye. This is not a dish for those looking for a light starter, it is rich and velvety but worth it.
For the mains, Gemma tucked into the ‘Trash Pie’, with a crown of mussels, whilst I tried the chargrilled gurnard with salsify, sprouting broccoli, sorrel and salted anchovies.
The gurnard was perfectly cooked with the chargrill adding a delicious smokey taste and crisp texture to the fish. The salsify had a pleasant bite and the anchovies lifted the dish with the salty umami taste.
A fish pie is a beautiful this when done well, and this certainly was. The mussel crown gave the dish a playful (and tasty) finish and the pie filling itself contained smooth mash, flaked fish served with a side of vibrant, crunchy greens.
Trawler Trash is a great addition to the London restaurant scene, made even more special by its commitment to sustainable fish and seasonal vegetables. We’re excited to see what the Trash team have in store for the ‘unloved’ catch and can’t wait to try the rest of the menu.