It's a family affair. Polish born Marcel Grzyb (head chef) and his sister Oriona Robb (stylist) have left nothing unturned in pursuit of bringing their vision to life. From the menu, to the medley of Polish and London sourced artworks on the wall, everything has been painstakingly thought through and, it shows.
With designs on “creative”, “stylish” and “unique” cooking Galley aren’t afraid to overcomplicate things, often it works - sometimes it appears over-fussed. Wherever your tastebuds lead you, rest assured they’re not too pretentious to retain the nation’s favourite dish - battered fish and (meticulously arranged, hand cut) chips.
If there are two of you, we recommend nabbing the stalls that face into the kitchen. In some restaurants this position can be a precarious, stressful one to occupy. At Galley it’s a delight; you’re watching experts at work, bringing dishes to life. Hot pappardelle is spooned onto plates, fresh sea bass sizzles in the pan, all accompanied by a tuneful clatter of crockery .
Immediately, our expectations of traditional (though note, “Hand-dived” for) scallops were usurped with a healthy dose of cardamom puree, carrot and toasted hazelnuts. It worked well and left us scratching the plate with our forks trying to understand it. The octopus and chorizo was equally delicious. Though, with such punchy flavours the accompanying white bean puree felt slightly needless.
From their “large plates” we devoured the pan-fried sea bass with accompanying gnocchi, peas, courgettes, wild mushrooms and truffle oil. The remaining sauce was quickly noticed by the ever attentive staff, who proffer a spoon so we could scoop up every last drop. The side of chargrilled, purple sprouting broccoli with crispy onions and lemon oil alone makes Galley worth the visit.
But the highlight was dessert. Oozing chocolate fondant with a deliciously dark cherry compote, sprinkled with amaretto crunch, accompanied by a perfectly scooped ball of marscapone ice cream and decorously decked with a flower: indulgence at its very best.
Oh, and we recommend turning an eye to their extensive gin menu. From G’vine (gin made from grapes) to fair trade gins, to gin accompanied by an olive, basil and sprig of rosemary. You’re guaranteed to find something out of the ordinary.
Galley is the kind of place that deserves to fit right in near Ottolenghi on hip 'n' happening Upper Street, and already the bustle coming from keen Islington-ites speaks for itself.
|What||Galley restaurant review|
105 – 106 Upper Street, London, N1 1QN | MAP
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
15 Feb 16 – 15 Feb 18, Open daily. Monday to Friday from noon to midnight; Saturday and Sunday from 11am to midnight
|Website||Click here for more information|