"Sleek Scottish restaurant with great food away from the hustle and bustle"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
The Albannach’s elegant interior sets it apart from the tourist traps surrounding its Trafalgar Square location. A mezzanine overlooking the whole restaurant, neutral lighting and plenty of space between tables give The Albannach a relaxed ambience, while the countless whiskey bottles behind the bar and some very modern-looking lights fashioned out of fake antlers give away the restaurant’s Highland origin.
The Albannach’s brunch menu features staple dishes such as eggs Florentine, omelettes and full English breakfasts. Amongst the other dishes, food certainly nods towards Scotland with haggis, neeps and tatties and fresh salmon, although there are other European options such as duck confit or grilled swordfish.
The three egg omelette with smoked salmon (£8.50) is rich and just salty enough thanks to the smokey fish, complemented by a mound of dressed leaves sitting atop. It’s flavoursome, as are the eggs Benedict (£8.50) served over two muffins with crispy bacon and a very buttery hollandaise sauce.
The dessert menu features ice creams, banoffee pie and ‘cranachan’, a traditional Scottish dessert with berries, oats and cream (£6). The Scotch crème brulee (£6) is thick and satisfying, surrounded by a pool of strawberry soup.
The red wine and whiskey poached pear (£7) is juicy and has hints of cinnamon, while the accompanying pot of ginger ice cream is refreshing yet creamy.
There is an extensive selection of cocktails available with twists on old classics; the Martinez (£9.50) is a slightly sweeter take on the classic martini, with Tanqueray gin and vermouth downplayed by Maraschino cherry liquor and Angostura bitters.
Unsurprisingly, there is an impressive array of Scotch whiskey, however more surprisingly The Albannach boasts many varieties from Japan and Europe, going so far as to stock Bourbon from North America. A whiskey flight menu is available, offering the chance to sample different selections from as little as £10, rising to £199 for the ‘luxury flight’, which includes various whiskeys that are over 30 years old.
Non-purist drinkers can enjoy the whiskey-based cocktails instead. The Palindrome (£9.50) is a blend of 12 year old Bowmore, vanilla brandy and vermouth, strong yet sweet enough for dessert. The Wood Affinity (£8.50) is stronger still, with Auchentoshan 3 Wood, Crème de figue, cherry liquor and lime juice.
The Albannach offers good food, elegant drinking and a smart environment away from the hustle and bustle, and you won’t even have to break the bank.
Leila reviewed Albannach on Thu 05 Aug 2010