Creole in Camden
Camden is having a comeback. And why shouldn't it? It's home to the world famous Camden Market and Camden Lock, Dingwalls, the Barfly, and now the £30 million newly restored Roundhouse, just to name a few. And many of the venues are contained within well-restored industrial buildings from the canal and steam train ages. What Hoxton would call inspired.
Most of us think of Camden when going shopping for a fifties style toaster, a blow up chair, or just a new diamond nose stud. It isn't typically top of mind when all we are after is a good meal in a restaurant that is fun, value for pound and where 'everybody knows your name', or will do by the time you stumble home.
Well, what if I told you that there is a new creole restaurant in Camden called Kaz Kreol that is funky yet homely, good value, and will leave you feeling a bit closer to the Seychelles islands. Just don't drive your Chelsea Tractor there, Ken's proposed C charge could be more than the bill. And that means you and your Lexus truck, David Cameron. We know you love your 'hoodies' and all, but Camden's more goth than toff. And we'd like to keep it that way.
Kaz Kreol is the only Seychelles restaurant in London, and the owner and chef was born and bred on the islands. Seafood is the house specialty and the grilled sea bass was supurb - grilled and lightly veiled in a ginger, chili and tomato sauce. Starters include mussels with chillies, prawns in garlic sauce, and smoked kingfish fillets. For mains there are crab and octopus curries, French inspired beef sautés, as well as less spicy options. All are served with lentils and steamed rice. Vegetarians are likely to be disappointed though - there is not much beyond vegetable curry.
The restaurant looks like a traditional boozer from the outside, but inside is bright and modern. The pub-style French windows open up to let the restaurant open up onto the street which is buzzy on warm evenings. Located in an area surprisingly bereft of decent restaurants, you can see this place breaming with locals.
Ah yes, locals, that reminds me. If you have yet to be convinced of yesterday's Just Say No campaign, don't dismiss the concept entirely. There is definitely a DIY (do it yourself) quality to Camden fashion. Many an element that shouts of stunted punk roots left over from the 80s: safety pins, mohawks, spikes and harshly dyed hair, filthy tennis-shoes and pointy Beatle boots.
But I am in no position to comment anymore, I noticed this morning that my suit jacket has shoulder pads.
Kaz Kreol details:
35 Pratt St
Camden (Camden Town tube)
020 7485 4747
Open Mon-Sat 11.30am-3.30pm,7-11pm
Meal for two with wine and service: around £50. Lunchtime buffet £7.99 (three courses)