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Restaurant review: Workshop Coffee Company, EC1

13:40 29 June 2012

The stripped back dining room

The stripped back dining room

Archant

»As the name might suggest, the Workshop Coffee Company started life as bean specialists, importing, roasting and grinding premium blends on the premises.

They have also made a name for themselves with New York-style brunches with pancakes, eggs and Bloody Mary’s aplenty.

Recently, however, they have launched a dinner menu and opened in the evenings, so we popped down to see if the night- time fare was as good as the day.

The decor – the industrial chic common in Finsbury – is all bare bricks and floor boards, metal pipes etc, furnished with functional coffee paraphernalia; an enormous roaster lurks in the corner and hessian sacks of beans lounge against the wall.

The menu and wine list are small, but most bases are covered; food-wise you have snacks, small, large, sides and afters and for wine about five red and five white to chose from.

Restaurant info:

Workshop Coffee Company,

27 Clerkenwell Road

EC1M 5RN

Tube: Farringdon Tel: 020 7253 5754

Mains: from £11

Wines: from £16 a bottle

Children welcome: Yes

Disabled access: No

To start, we had the pork belly special, which had a nicely charred skin, soft meat and tangy apple sauce, and the fried goat’s curd.

The latter came as a huge globe covered in peppery panko crust. The zing of the crust, density of the curd and sweetness of the pomegranate and mint side made for a complex but pleasing combination.

Next up was the immensely satisfying Dexter burger. All the elements were in place; medium rare patty, chipotle mayonnaise, pickles and some soft fired ratte potatoes – delicious.

Finally the smoked haddock fishcake, which looked the spitting image of the goat’s curd starter, except with a soft poached egg on top.

While the cake itself was tasty, the egg was a little underdone and the tangy ginger and lemongrass dressing didn’t quite work with the fishy haddock flavour.

Too full for pudding, although they looked delicious, we settled for a pot of speciality coffee to give us a boost for the way home. Called Juana Mamani, it was a typical Bolivian blend, not too heavy with a smooth taste and treacly undertone.

Overall, a pleasant, unostentatious meal at a fair price. For a coffee shop, Workshop makes a very good stab as a restaurant.

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