What: A sister restaurant to James Cochran EC3 that has just opened in the Angel Central shopping centre in Islington.
Who: As the name suggests, the chef behind it is James Cochran, who spent five years cooking at The Ledbury in Notting Hill before branching out on his own.
The vibe: It’s an odd choice of location for a restaurant of its ambition, sitting as it does behind a Bella Italia and with the likes of Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Wagamama as its neighbours as well as a Vue cinema. Formerly an Ed’s Easy Diner, the bright red banquettes and neon lights have been replaced with muted grey walls and black seating as well as a black and white image of the chef’s face that peers out at you from a faux living wall.
The menu: N1 draws on Cochran’s Caribbean roots with dishes such as Jamaican jerk buttermilk chicken with scotch bonnet jam, but beyond the tight selection of snacks, that also includes BBQ breast of Berkshire pigeon, liquorice, peanuts; glazed rabbit leg, dried shrimp and fennel kimchi, it’s all about the punchy and fiery flatbreads. Six are available, with jerk chicken featuring again, this time on a flatbread with sweetcorn, plantain chips, scotch bonnet mayo and black eyed peas; alongside options such as a treacle glazed shin of beef and Whitstable Bay Ale flatbread; and a Cornish monkfish coconut one topped with Cornish satay sauce, aubergine, yoghurt and coriander.
And another thing: Cochran isn’t likely to stop at two restaurants. Future ideas include an English-style kebab shop and a cider and cheese concept and he also wants to make jerk chicken the star of the show with a restaurant that serves a contemporary take on the Jamaican dish, so watch this space.
Angel Central, Islington, N1 0PS