Represent your hood and be proud of your area. How do you do this? When a shop or restaurant opens up, go and check them out and let your fellow neighbours know how good or bad they are.
Nickel on Crouch Hill has been around for around a year now. I first found out about Nickel, when the legend that is Max from Max's Sandwich shop mentioned this restaurant on social media. From here I knew it was one I needed to visit.
Nickel located in Crouch End, a great neighbourhood spot for food and wine. Wine list from Borough Wines, Cheese from La Fromagerie and Cornish Native Oysters at the weekends.
Walking past this restaurant you see the buzz and vibe of a exciting neighbourhood joint. From people sat along the window front, to diners around the bar, Nickel has one of those FOMO vibes. The Fear of Missing Out, was a valid reason for visiting Nickel.
After a trip to the cinema and a not too hungry belly, I knew that Nickel would provide what i needed. Good small bites and a happy, friendly vibe.
This friendly vibe was noticed immediately once we stepped into the restaurant on a busy Thursday night. Music was being played, diners moved to helped accommodate us and people were singing and dancing by the bar. Good start!
The menu is not that extensive, but it gives you a bit of everything at the same time. Vegetarian dishes, Meat dishes, light snacks, desserts and a good use of cooking techniques too.
What we ordered on a not so hungry night was:
Bruschetta, Asparagus, Duck Salad and Affogato.
All dishes did there job of satisfying our tastes buds as well as our stomachs. Each dish is well portioned for two people, with just that bit extra so that you don't have to worry about who eats what.
The food here is a fusion and that is what works so well here. The asparagus came with a great salsa which had Mediterranean flavours with it. The duck salad with fennel was simple but delightful, the tang on the bruschetta brought about a moreish flavour which meant Laura and I had a brief debate about who would have the last bite.
I wasn't expecting a dessert on this lovely day/night off work. However, when my pregnant wife asks for a sweet treat, she gets what she wants.
This was my first experience of an Affogato. Affogato itself means 'drowned' and here vanilla ice cream is drowned in coffee. The waitress brought over the ice cream in a glass and then doused it in warm coffee. Oh My! That was some good theatre. We started off very civilized by using our spoons, by as the amazing sweetness and coffee flavour took over, we started to just drink the melted ice cream. It was like an espresso martini without the liquor. Sensible.
GOOD TIMES: A friendly neighbourhood restaurant with great small plates - be prepared to sing
WATCH OUT: Small restaurant, so get there early to avoid not getting a seat.
OMG: That Affogato, deffo order it.