"Traditional British grub at this Shoreditch caff"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
It’s a weekend lunchtime, and a mixture of trendy youths in day-glo hoodies and skinny jeans and fashionable young professionals carrying laptops/blackberries/broadsheet papers roam around. The location is Shoreditch, and I’m about to step into light and airy café The Albion for people-prying and a glass of Rose.
Wanting a light snack, I balk at the £8.50 price tag of mushrooms on a slice of toast. Why, I could buy four loaves of bread, a bottle of olive oil, a bulb of garlic and four Portobello mushrooms for that much, I thought to myself. My moaning stops the second I taste the first mouthful however. This is pure mushroom and garlic heaven, and by the time I’m finished I am convinced the toast buried under tender slices of Portobello sprinkled with parsley is excellent value.
The hearty British menu is traditional in the extreme, think Welsh rabbit (or rarebit, to give it its correct spelling), crackling, and cauliflower cheese; desserts include crumbles and bread and butter pudding. Its simplicity is refreshing, more so as everything is prepared to a high standard - even the thickly cut chips with beef dripping are above average.
What’s even better is being able to sip a Bloody Mary with your breakfast, or drink a Kir Royale with lunch. The bakery is rather exciting too; peruse the large, ‘proper’ scotch eggs (none of that stuff you get in supermarkets that passes itself off as the real thing), the sourdough bread and the cakes…the mouthwatering, luscious cakes. You can taste the fruitiness of the Easter cake just by looking at it, along with its generous layers of sweet marzipan.
The shop also sells fruit and veg, and specialty British jams, cheeses and condiments, which no doubt come in handy to guests of upstairs hotel The Boundary, part of the same company - Prescott and Conran, the latter being Terence Conran - and where the upscale French eatery Boundary and descriptively named rooftop bar Boundary Rooftop are.
Both the shop and caff (as they like to call it) are conveniently open till midnight every day of the week, and upon closer inspection of the menu it reveals to be inexpensive – the vast majority of the dishes are under a tenner. A real Shoreditch highlight.
Leila reviewed The Albion on Fri 07 May 2010