A restaurant in Camden, which half opened in March as a fish and chip shop, today fully opened with a 15-seater “health food” annexe. KooKoo is the new arm of the restaurant Hook at 63-65 Parkway in north London, an award-winning chippy, which closed for refurbishment at the end of last year.
A little presumptively, an announcement on behalf of the restaurant today said: “Londoners have been revelling in one of the city’s hottest springs on record, and now is the perfect time for us to switch up our diets into summer mode.”
Thus KooKoo, a new “lunchtime deli” is offering “an array of health-giving and hearty salads.”
Chef Simon Whiteside and his team say they spotted a gap in the market for a fresh, healthy lunchtime spot in the area. Hence, they hope to have created “the type of food that people, tired with the usual stodgy sandwiches or lacklustre soups on offer, want to eat — all in a uniquely designed, fun and contemporary space.”
The place operates from 11am until 6pm Monday to Saturday, with a “multicultural-influenced menu,” featuring a range of protein bases like rump steak chimichuri or salmon with wasabi and lime, which can be paired with “seasonal, vibrant and unique salads.”
Despite this proclamation, those given sound fairly commonplace: Curry roasted cauliflower, heritage tomato and pickled fennel salad; smoked applewood dressed baby gem with pickled onion and apple; and Aubergine pickled red cabbage and feta.
Elsewhere, a puzzling assembly of “light spinach wraps” — made with gluten-free charcoal and coconut — can include either that chimmichuri beef or Cajun chicken as a filling. A protein base and two salads will cost £8.50.
For those less interested in that, and more interested in fish and chips or straight-up seafood, might wish to select from a menu that “revolves around high quality, sustainable fish cooked in a health-conscious way.”
The fish and chips at Hook will themselves go unchanged but the addition of some new versions, which will use its “trademark healthier flavoured tempura-style batters” rather than conventional beer batter. For example, cod in lemon and basil tempura is served with garlic truffle sauce and seaweed.
Elsewhere, for starters, there’s chorizo-stuffed squid with garlic truffle; smoked mackerel with charcoal soda bread and pickles; fish tacos; cured monkfish with cauliflower puree and pickled shiitake mushrooms; and curried octopus and fennel salad.
Main courses include salmon with smoked anchovies, salsa verde, leeks and baked new potatoes; and whole fried sea bass with tamarind and lime sauce, pancakes, pickles and sambal — which is said to be “a take on the Chinese classic, crispy duck with pancakes.”