According to its own website, Plaquemine Lock’s fare is at ‘at once exciting and exotic, but at the same time comforting and strangely familiar’. On my visit I found this can be said for more than just the menu, as Plaquemine Lock is a pub down a quiet, leafy street in Islington. Cajun and Creole cuisine may not be too common for a Londoner to experience, but the boozer sure is.
Obviously there was plenty of decent beer on draught, but I decided to get in to the spirit of Louisana with the Sazerac cocktail, a neat combination of whisky, Herbsaint, Angostura & Peychaud’s bitters. My company settled for refreshing Mint Julep – ideal for palates not partial to a stronger drink.
Here lay the first joy of the evening, being able to enjoy a decent cocktail without having to suffer a cocktail bar. It felt like someone had combined my favourite ideal features of a eating and drinking out, and combined them in to one. Cheers to that!
We enjoyed some appetisers in the packed-out Plaquemine Lock – the smoked pork boudin and devils on horseback.
The duck boudin was a simple but delicious sausage made great with sharpness of the creole mustard, and a firm pickle that had the right amount of acidic moisture.
The devils on horseback – oysters deep fried with bacon & marchand du vin – is where luxury meets gluttony. The devilish feature of these being you can eat them for days, and will want to.
Alas though, on to the main event. Fried chicken is such a staple of the London appetite that ordering it isn’t necessarily an overly exciting experience. The fried chicken a Plaquemine Lock is definitely noteworthy though, the batter was well seasoned, the chicken was tender. Accompanying it was a dumpling so light that my friend managed to offend his mother by proclaiming it was the best he ever had.
Along with the fried chicken we opted for the soft shell crab amandine. Side note: If (like me) you don’t know what amandine means, the nice folk at Plaquemine Lock have translations of all foreign words on the menu. There’s also a handy diagram on how best to eat a lobster. Educational and delicious. This fried soft shell crab came in a crusty baguette, the kind of reviving food that you’ll crave when you’ve had too many Sazerac cocktails the night before.
When it came to finishing our meal, sadly us caffeine-sensitive folk had to forgo the chicory café au lait that usually accompanies the beignets. The beignets however were worth eating alone; as light and airy as could be.
The pecan pie was a great, denser alternative. The nutty sweetness was perfectly accompanied by the rich coffee ice cream. We enjoyed these sweet treats amongst many other merry folk. Evidently I’m not the only one who Plaquemine Lock ticks the boxes for. If your checklist includes moreish food, lively atmosphere and sublime drinks, then it’s probably a good spot for you too.
139 Graham Street, London, N1 8LB