Although I work in King's Cross, I only eat out very rarely in nearby Islington, which is a shame because there are a number of restaurants in the neighbourhood that I'm very keen to try. Oldroyd is one and Galley, a little further up Upper Street, was another until my friends and I selected it as the latest venue for our monthly girls' brunch a couple of weeks ago.
As you might expect from its name, Galley's main menu features mainly fish and seafood dishes, but the weekend brunch menu is more balanced. When I was looking at the menu a few weeks ago, I remembered a lobster dish on the brunch menu — lobster with scrambled eggs, perhaps — which sounded great but was no longer listed, unfortunately. I say 'unfortunately' but I had a tough enough time choosing among four of six brunch dishes.
The waffles with crispy pancetta, maple syrup and a fried egg (£10) almost won me over, but in the end, I went for the smoked bacon and cheddar hash with a fried duck eggs and homemade brown sauce (£9). I'm generally indifferent to store-bought brown sauce but this homemade version was very flavoursome and added a nice kick to the dish. The hash browns were great too — because I'm greedy, I probably could have eaten a slightly larger portion.
However, this worked out for the best when the dessert menu made an appearance. I don't usually have a pudding after brunch but the salted caramel cheesecake with pecan praline and toffee sauce (£7) sounded too good to pass up. It took a little while to arrive but was worth the wait because it tasted delicious and was beautifully presented. The consistency was more semifreddo than cheesecake but this didn't prevent me from cleaning my plate.
There were dessert cocktails too — one of which featured Coco Pops and bourbon! — but I was content with my gin bloody mary (£6), which was super-spicy and came with bourbon and bacon jam as well as the usual trimmings. It was a great cocktail and the price was very reasonable.
Galley's design is beautiful too with tasteful pops of sage green and orange. We were seated in a cosy booth, but there are bar stools (which also looked very comfortable) at the open kitchen counter and the bar. It was the weekend before Halloween and, in a very American style, the staff were all dressed up; there was a really nice atmosphere too and it was a good venue for a girlie catch-up. The service wasn't always as attentive as it could have been, but it was fairly busy. I hope I'll be able to come back sometime to sample the seafood.
Galley. 105–106 Upper Street, London, N1 1QN (Tube: Angel or Highbury & Islington). Website. Twitter. Instagram.