Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Albion

Conscious it's been quite a while since I posted anything classic British, I thought it would be nice to write about a rather pleasant Sunday lunch I enjoyed a couple of months back at The Albion in Islington.

It's not exactly the gourmet gastropub like The Harwood Arms with its shabby-chic touch, it's really more shabby than chic here at The Albion. That said it oozes a sense of friendly cosiness and casual familiarity, especially with the rickety wooden tables and mis-matched chunky chairs. 

Ale braised oxtail with bone marrow on toast
This was divine. The oxtail was slow-cooked and shredded to hold the thick meaty jus, interwind with generous lumps of incredibly melty and buttery bone marrow. Any leaks from the heap of bovine awesomeness was soaked up by the crispy toast, which also helped to take some of the grease off the dish. Delicious.

It's highly unusual that we ordered the same thing on the menu, I thought about going for the mackerel instead, but so glad I stuck to this.

Roast Romney Salt Marsh Lamb Rump
The lamb is overcooked for a medium rare, but it didn't matter because it was still a beautiful piece of meat. The meat was tender and succulent with plenty of lamb tang in the meat juice despite its leanness - even without the gravy the lamb itself carried much flavour. 

All the trimmings were served with the roast dishes; The roast potatoes had ruffed up edges, just like how Jamie Oliver had taught us, but these were more hard than crispy, probably been reheated once.  The carrots could have been softer, but the cabbage and the yorkshire were fine. Still much better than the regular, everyday pub sunday roast.

28 Day Aged Country Rose Fore Rib of Beef with Yorkshire Pudding
While I adore salt beef, I rarely order roast beef. Perhaps the Sunday roasts at boarding school had scarred me with the completely well done rubber beef that had been cooked over and over again every Sunday.

Thankfully The Albion did a proper job of serving medium rare roast beef, glistening in its meat juice. The thick cut was tender and flavoursome, served with a gravy that worked with the beef instead of drowning it. Gorgeous.

A Sunday roast sounds so simple and common, yet a good one is quite hard to come by. While The Albion may appear to be a typical neighbourhood pub, the kitchen has more to it than what meets the eye. The food was undoubtedly above average - solid, honest and satisfying.

10 Thornhill Road
N1 1HW
Tel: 0207 607 7450

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