Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Regal cool - The Princess of Shoreditch

The once much maligned gastropub concept is now a fully accepted and important piece of London's social tapestry, and many pubs are continuing to develop and push the concept to new extremes. In the most positive sense. One of the best examples of the Britain's answer to the French bistro is the Princess of Shoreditch, which the Northerner and I were lucky enough to dine at the other night.
Celebrating my recent 21st (plus one or more) we kicked off the night with a few drinks with the gang (more of that in another blog), before heading off to this recently refurbished, 18th century boozer.
Located in the hub of the Ditch, just behind the Hoxton Hotel, the Princess benefits hugely from it's prime location, and the fact that for all intents and purposes its an old boozer. With a twist.
That twist is in the form of it's food, which although not cheap, is top of the range in terms of quality and choice. After ordering a deliciously crisp Picpol de Pinet (one of Langedoc's finest) we set about the serious business of eating.
The Northerner started with the scallops while I tested the foie gras. Neither of us were disappointed - the scallops were fresh, nicely seasoned and cooked on the tender side. In other words, perfect. While the foie gras, with an accompaniment of poached plum and brioche was as heavenly as it sounds. Assuming you're not a vegetarian of course.
For mains the Northerners chose the lamb rump with pak choi and chorizo in the mix, while I went for the pork belly and black pudding. Again both were perfectly cooked to order - tender towards pink - well seasoned and delicious. Not a scrap left on those plates.
Finally we finished with an apple and plum crumble and a creme brulee, which again were exceedingly good and comforting in equal measure. Although the Northerner's crumbles are of course, a bit better.
Given it was a Monday night ,the place was still buzzing and the service was faultless. In fact the Princess left us with nothing to complain about. Very unusual for us.
So a gastropub that goes straight on to my 'must go again' list. Next time we'll take some friends lest people think I make this stuff up.
Finally, I / we have noticed that Time Out seem to run the same reviews that I do, pretty much at the same time. Admittedly their readership is oh, some 200, 000 people more then this little old blog, but for the record - it's a coincidence. Although I have noticed some student journo types casing my house. Hmmm....

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