Restaurant review: Workshop Coffee Company, EC1
�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.
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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.
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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.