Carnaby is a rare thing: somewhere in central London that’s not unbearable for a shop and a hang. Unlike its close cousin a few streets away, the dreaded Oxford Street, which is a place so hellish as to serve as a shopping contraceptive.

Carnaby is different. It’s managed to maintain the same allure it once had when I was a teenager, when come Monday morning in tutor-base, the coolest thing to say you did that weekend was to spend a Saturday ambling down Carnaby Street with your gaggle of gal pals and the one solitary boy in your group who everyone fancied, most likely called Daniel. You’d take a picture or two of you all standing under the cool lights on your 5210, before heading to Fire and Stone for a sophisticated evening of modern European pizza and a glass of coke. And Carnaby. Lovely Carnaby still lives today to tell the tale.

It’s home to a plethora of decent shops; from Addidas to Dr Martens, and not forgetting the androgynous cornucopias of & Other Stories and Monki. Then there’s the beating culinary heart of the area: Kingly Court is nestled inside Carnaby, connecting all the pedestrianised arteries of the surrounding streets. And this is where you’ll find some delectable morsels…

For Israeli Bites: The Good Egg

The Lowdown: Israeli/Middle Eastern food has been having a moment, quite rightly, because it’s buff. The rise of Bala Baya, The Palomar, Honey & Co, and Ottolengi’s empire – including his new gaff Rovi (set to open in June) – has added a delightful sprinkling of za’atar to the city’s culinary landscape. Step in The Good Egg, which originally flung open its doors in Stokey a few years back and has now set up a second home in Kingly Court. All praise the goddess of shakshuka! The new place feels like the polished well-behaved younger sister to the original, which is slightly more zany and rough around the edges. Nonetheless, despite its bang on trend interiors (kilner jars filled with pickles and fermented cabbage line the walls) and central London location, the food still packs a punch.

Eat and Drink: We recommend sharing dishes, obviously, but not because that’s just the way humans eat now (and on the 8th day, god created small plates), but because the cuisine genuinely lends itself to eating little explosive bits and pieces. The menu centers around clay oven baked breads and delicious dips and salads – think labneh, marinated aubergine, whipped feta. Choose the Jerusalem breakfast for a little bit of everything. We also recommend trying the Sabich (pronounced sab-ichhh, rather than sab-itch…), which is a dribble-inducing Israeli classic: pudgy pita bread stuffed with fried aubergine, boiled eggs, salad, tahini with crunchy piquant pickle relief – it’s tangy, earthy and fresh. Get 2 know.

For Sushi: OKA

The Lowdown: For a different vibe try OKA with its sleek wooden interiors and sushi bar. It also has chichi outposts in Primrose Hill and Chelsea, and all branches are sweet and snug, serving up fresh seasonal rolls and hot dishes to eager crowds. The restaurant has a short menu replete with staff who are agonisingly sweet and just the right side of attentive (I left a cocktail untouched which I found too sweet; upon seeing my full glass our waitress insisted on making me a different one).

Eat and Drink: Highlights of the menu include homemade kimchi (a little rogue for a Japanese restaurant, sure, but I’ll take it) – a little bowl of fiery fermented cabbage laced with chilli. For the sushi, we recommend exploring their specials for a scintillating carrousel of seasonal numbers like panko-fried asparagus and crab, but the staple has got to be their uramaki – or more fondly known by their sushi-belly button name: “inside-out rolls”. The spicy tuna with avocado and cucumber is a must, as is the California prawn with cucumber, avocado, lime mayo and tobiko (that orange fish-roe which pops in your mouth like fabulous fishy fondant). I personally prefer my sushi sans the crunch of cucumber, but that’s a failing on MY part. If you’re feeling carefree and bold, try the fried sushi roll in tempura with panko prawns and jalapeño.

The thing that will bring me back to this place is the dessert. Good lord, this dessert. Not since I first tried the French toast and matcha soft-serve at Shackfuyu did I think there could possibly be a pud to rival it, but this one comes close. OKA’s cookie dough is earth shattering, and comes in three flavours: dark chocolate with peanut butter, white chocolate with macadamia nut, or white choc and matcha (we had the latter). It comes served in a little ramekin, and is barely baked, so the cookie dough is molten and melting and arghhh. Meanwhile the chlorophyllic grassy matcha is undercut with a wave of sweet milky chocolate to create the perfect yin-yang flavour pairing… It’s worth a trip.

For Seafood: CLAW

The Lowdown: A scurry away on Kingly Street lives CLAW, an ode to all things feasibly made from this scuttling crustacean (they have a land section of the menu too, which I’m not convinced is necessary). The restaurant itself is at first glance dark and dinky, with a subterranean basement providing more covers on busy days. It’s kind of an evening place, with a mellow buzz to suit the sharing plate vibe. If you fancy going for lunch, as we did, we recommend grabbing a table outside, where you’ll be able to bask in the European cobbled street feeling of being on holiday. Hell, go wild – you can even order an Aperol spritz.

Eat and Drink: It’s standard practice to order ‘everything on the crab menu’, by which we mean: the crab claws, whole crab, crab fries, crab beignets and crab mac n’ cheese. We did just that, but substituted the fries for a couple of oysters, as you do. The highlight were the crab beignets – with an amazingly light texture, they reminded me of the Ashkenazi Jewish tradition of Gefilte fish, a close textural relation to the Lyon classic quenelles de brochet, aka… poached fish cake. Although these beignet bad boys were fried, they managed to achieve the same cloud-like consistency and were absolutely glorious.

If you’re with a through-and-through carnivore (silly) you can also check out the miso steak served with cucumber kimchi, or merguez sausages with toasted corn. The seaweed potato salad served with a ‘soy cured yolk’ also looked delightful, and gave me no end of order-envy. The food here generally is RICH, but you’ll leave feeling fresh because that’s the magic of crab – it’s so magnificently bouncy and light.