I get instant interior-design envy the minute I walk into Galley, situated on an already well-restauranted stretch of Upper Street. What used to be a branch of Strada now looks like a sexy London townhouse, with arty prints, tropical wallpaper and bold zigzag stripes highlighting emerald green velvet furniture and turquoise and gold accents. I want to move in, even before I try the food.

I have high hopes already as the co-owner, Marcel Gryzb, was head chef at Randall & Aubin for ten years, and boy, does he know his seafood. My friend and I have been drooling over the menu online all day, but we still order half a dozen delicious Dunvargan oysters [£7.50 for 3], washed down with a couple of their inventive cocktails (I have the Pick Your Cherries, with Portobello Road gin, Evangelista ratafia, vanilla syrup and raspberry sugar), while we make our final decision.

We start by sharing three ‘small plates’: outrageously smokey and meaty grilled octopus and chorizo [£9], served on a caramelized onion puree; three moreish plump, firm and juicy British scallops [£9.50], liberally slicked in seaweed butter and served with tasty samphire; then a pretty plate of silky-smooth sea bream carpaccio, spiked with chilli, lime, mint and basil.

We’re in raptures already, but the mains are just as good: my friend has the creamy halibut fillet with butter-poached leeks and asparagus [£20.50], which she grudgingly lets me try, while I devour the delicate pan fried sea bass on a bed of gnocchi with peas, courgettes and asparagus [£19.50] – a feast of summery greens. The friendly staff talk us into dessert – the mango sorbet accompanying the citrus tart is particularly noteworthy – and neither of us actually want to leave. A slick North London gem.

Food: 8.5/10

Atmos: 8/10

Value for money: 7.5/10