Insider’s London: Albion Cafe, Shoreditch

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In a Nutshell: A trendy resto in a very trendy area that surprisingly delivers on food quality (and spectator fashion).

Best For: People-Gawking, Al Fresco Dining/Drinking, Artsy Types, Hipsters & The People Who Love Them, British Dining, Brunch

Neighborhood: Shoreditch

There’s the Boundary Hotel and its posh rooftop bar above…and the members-only Shoreditch House across the street.  I was a tad nervous that I’d be trapped in some overly pretentious East End nonsense at the Albion, but the ambiance (though still very much hip) struck the right balance.  My friend and I were lucky to snag al fresco lunchtime seats, and the proximity to all the street activity and passerby fashions on Boundary/Redchurch street was worth the price in itself.

18heads_600 Johnathan Player, NYT

The menu is quintessential British, and the dishes were listed with minimal description…which made me a tad anxious.  My recommendation is to ask your waiter what he or she would recommend, for the “Rabbit in Mustard Cream” wouldn’t have been my first choice.  The actual presentation of the meal was tremendously more attractive than the terse text on the menu.  It would be the best, most tender rabbit dish I’ve ever tasted (others have been too gamey for my preference) and the mustard cream was well-balanced, appeasing my fears of an onslaught of tang throughout the dish.

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For dessert we split a rhubarb crumble, which came with a lovely warmed custard to help neuter the sweet punch of the rhubarb flavor.  Add to the mix good tea, affordable wine and unfussy service, and you have one of my more delightful restaurant experiences in East London of the summer.

The Albion may just have converted this reluctant American into enjoying British fare.

Golden Tip: Come early, and if you can get a seat outside (especially when the weather is excellent) do so.

http://www.albioncaff.co.uk/caff/

 

Image Credit: Alamy, Johnathan Player, and Travis Levius

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