It’s hard to believe that this low-key fish café has been open since 2014. It was at least a couple of years since our last visit – so more than time for a rematch.
On a Saturday lunchtime, the distressed wood-and-exposed-brick interior, well-lit by industrial pendants, was mostly populated by families with kids, even after 2pm. So far, so expected.
Cosy booths line one wall, with counter seating at the window and tables for larger groups. A white tiled kitchen is open to view.
The restaurant is the baby of Australian chef-owner Philip Kendall, who left Sydney a decade ago after meeting his British wife. His motto of “fresh, seasonal, sustainable” is reflected in the short but considered menu.
Szechuan salt and pepper Cornish squid was better than on previous visits, crowned with a tangle of coriander, and yielding both a fiery hit of green chilli and the salty tang of ponzu. Sea-fresh line-caught pollock came with a crust of salsa verde, its flesh velvety. More flavoursome still was blackened miso and sake-marinaded farmed Irish salmon.
Sides sung equally loudly, and should definitely be ordered to accompany the smallish mains: chunky ovals of yellow and green courgette were seared and strewn with crumbled feta, while a chalked-up special of blackened asparagus had the benefit of ‘scraps’ and ricotta. Oh, and a diminutive bowl of skinny fries? Gone, in seconds.
If you overlook Lure as often as we do, then this is the right time of year to do something about it. Think of it as a staycation in NW5’s sleepiest valley.
Starters from £7, mains from £9. Two courses with sides and a bottle of wine for two people is about £70+. Open Wed-Sun at 56 Chetwynd Road NW5. More info here.