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Friday, December 28, 2012
Downstairs at the Princess of Shoreditch, there’s a bustling gastropub and bar. But through a separate entrance and up a spiralling staircase, you’ll find a formal, fine dining restaurant.
The menus for both spaces strike many similarities and, indeed, several dishes are the same. But the restaurant menu – which we ate from – boasts more upmarket offerings such as pheasant and pork belly over the pub favourites served downstairs, such as gourmet fish and chips, burger and pies.
For starter, I went for the tiger prawn and lobster cocktail with marie rose sauce, with the seafood tasting beautifully fresh and succulent. Meanwhile, my friend chose the smoked haddock pate which was bursting with flavour with a nice and chunky texture, served with rustic bread.
Onto the main course, and I opted for the pan fried sea bass with tomato and lentil cassoulet – available on both the pub and restaurant menu. The fish was cooked superbly, flaking to the touch and the mild, delicate flavour of the flesh complemented perfectly by the autumnal flavours of the accompaniment.
My friend selected slow roasted Kilravock Farm pork belly, braised cheek, black pudding croquette, crackling and cider jus. He was bowled over by the tenderness of the meat, which was in no way fatty, and the intense flavour of the braised cheek trimming.
The crème brûlée we shared for dessert disappoint either.
This inviting pub and restaurant, which also boasts an extensive wine list with new bottles added on a monthly basis, delivers on all fronts. It’s not surprising that it won Time Out’s best new gastropub when it started out in 2010 and has recently been awarded a Michelin Bob Gourmand.