Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Princess of Shoreditch - British royalty exuding an old world charm


Address: 76-78 Paul Street,
London EC2A 4NE
Tel: 020 7729 9270
Nearest Tube station: Old Street

Ratings (out of 5 *)
Price: below £20 pp
Service charge: 12.5%
Taste: ****
Service: ****
Ambience: ****
In the end it was The Princess of Shoreditch that got our custom. We were milling around Old Street looking for some semblance of lunch or at least a heavy brunch; we had unwisely skipped breakfast again. It was one of those crisp cold Saturday morning, with ten minutes to spare before noon beckoned.

"Why not you come in first and have a drink? Lunch starts in a couple more minutes," the waiter at Princess of Shoreditch suggested affably. Just a moment ago, the reception we got from Yard, the pizzeria just metres away, was starkly different. "We aren't open yet," the lone staff mumbled before returning to setting the tables.

Despite the new developments that is slowing creeping from Angel to Old Street in recent years, Shoreditch still retain much of its East end quirky charm. The visitor would be intrigued at the surprises thrown up at every single turn. True enough, there were a sightseeing group led by a volunteer, which went past window while we lunched.


Unlike Yard,which is prominently located at the junction, Princess of Shoreditch is tucked at the corner of Paul Street and Willow Street. It felt like stepping into a bygone era as I pushed through the door. Soft ballroom music played in the background with a winding staircase leading up to more dining area on the first floor fully exuding the old world feel.


Lunch was an 8oz shin of Aberdeen Angus beef burger (£10.95). I am still undecided whether it was the thick succulent patty or the white truffle mayo that did the trick. Then again, it might be the foie gras chutney and the perfectly toasted buns.


The beef burger at Princess of Shoreditch, with its pickles served seperately in a dainty glass container and hand cut chips, is by far one of the most satisfying burger that I have come across.


The beer battered fish and chips (£12.95) - pollack and hand cut chips in this case, paled in comparison. While I couldn't fault the freshness of the fish, it was clear that the kitchen tried to disguise the paltry size of the serving by over battering it. Nearly half of it was flour, not exactly appetising I must say.


We were glad that we decided to give a go at the dessert for the sticky toffee pudding (£5.75) was heavenly. Topped with a good size scoop of vanilla ice-cream, it was light on the palate. I can't ask for a better pudding.

The service was attentive thought I'm sure the fact that we were the only ones there helped. Water was topped up at regular intervals (from a retro metallic can no less) without request. For obvious reasons, I'm really glad that we decided to give Yard a miss.

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