I was impressed by the understated elegance of the building and décor – as a former light industrial building, some of its interesting features were maintained (or sympathetically incorporated) like the refectory style cream tiles, the factory lights, and the large windows which let plenty of natural light into the Café.
I also loved their food shop and open plan kitchen – the large baskets of fresh bread, cleverly positioned at the entrance of the building, welcome you into the Café and help to draw in even the most reluctant of punters.
The menu is reassuringly simple with some British classics and “caff” style dishes that will appeal to anyone. Prices are not bad either with most dishes costing less than the £10 mark.
I was pleased to see Greenwich Meantime beers on their menu @ £3.75, one of my favourite brewers in the country. I was lucky to attend a private tasting by this fantastic, independent beer house a couple of years ago, and was completely stunned by the quality of their beers and the passion of the founder/speaker. I always order GM beers whenever I see them available, my favourites being London Porter,
Dr G and I ordered a couple of staple dishes – I went for the “Full Albion Breakfast” @ £9.75 while Dr G had “Kedgeree” @ £9.50.
I would have liked to continue the complimentary tone of my review and say that our food was as great as the décor, food shop, and beers, but unfortunately both dishes were rather disappointing.
Dr G’s kedgeree was an interesting choice – I cook kedgeree at home sometimes (one of my favourite brunch dishes) but had never seen a version like
It was basically a fishy rice dish with cream, and was seriously lacking in seasoning. After the beautiful décor, the lovely bread, the charming service, expectations were high - I was gutted.
Tom of TomEatsJenCooks recommends The Modern Pantry when entertaining visitors from outside
The total bill was £30 for two, including 12.5% service. This is not bad (£15 = main + beer) although for once I will have to disagree with Time Out as I can think of quite a few places where my 15 quid would be better spent.
Verdict – Another classic example of style over substance – great décor, efficient staff, gorgeous looking food shop but seriously mediocre food. A possible Shoreditch choice for tea, cakes, or Greenwich Meantime beer.