HERE’S AN A-Z OF GLOBAL EATING
You can eat around the world in Islington’s cafes and restaurants. If you’d like to send in a short review for this A-Z of cuisines, please contact Islington Faces.Â IdeallyÂ please include a pic of you (your friends) at the restaurant or a scene from your eating odyssey.Â
- During 2017 the eateries tried include:Â French, Lebanese, Moroccan, Scandi-Russian
Belle Epoque, 37 Newington Green, N16 http://belleepoque.co.uk
THE FOOD: Classic French cafĂ© butâŠ with friendly staff (sorry for even making out that French waiters can be a tad unfriendly). Belle Epoque is a wonderful place to go, especially if you want to feel as if youâve hopped on to the Eurostar and are now in France without having had to queue at passport control. The food always looks gorgeous, especially the range of cakes. Serves Londonâs most delicious almond croissants, 10/10.
THE ATMOSPHERE: You order at the counter but usually the staff bring your dish over. Itâs a place where people meet and also sit with laptops.
DID YOU KNOW: They create foodie hampers at Christmas time. Always worth popping in around holidays to buy chocolate treats, eg, Easter eggs and Halloween skulls. Go after the big day has passed and you may be able to buy something cheaper.
VERDICT: Feels expensive but is definitely memorable, and far cheaper than going to France. I especially like going there on a late winter afternoon when itâs dark outside â thereâs something very cosy about Belle Epoque in the rain too.
COST: I paid ÂŁ12 for a hot chocolate, pot of plum/cinnamon tea (nice!) and an almond croissant (all to eat in) plus a take away chicken and leek tart that is designed for one but we quartered back home.
1) Gadz, 44 Clifton Terrace, N4.
Itâs where the buses stop to let passengers out on the Wells Terrace side of Finsbury Park tube station.
THE FOOD: Gadz serves reviving drinks (coffee/tea) and great food â falafel and a huge, colourful dish of Lebanese salad with tabbouleh, rice, hummus and more decorated with some jewel bright pomegranate seeds. You can order a spicy or non-spicy version. I shared mine with an Iranian friend, washed down with fresh mint tea. We both really liked our meal.
THE ATMOSPHERE: Itâs a place where you can meet anyone, although thereâs definitely more Jeremy Corbyn supporters here than in other cafes. Gadz is the original JC fanboy. There are pix of Jeremy Corbyn in various poses displayed unironically. While I was eating there, a group around a nearby table were talking politics in a very assured way.
DID YOU KNOW: Gadz is also all about kindness. On an earlier visit he urged me to come back on Friday for the fundraiser he was holding for the Grenfell Tower survivors.
VERDICT: delicious home cooked food. Lots of vegetarian choices.
COST: I spent ÂŁ8 on two mint teas and a large Lebanese salad which two of us shared.
2) MYCOTTAGE CAFE,Â 10a Clifton Terrace, N4
Appropriately – given that this is right by Finsbury Park bus station – Clifton Terrace doesn’t just have one fantastic Lebanese restaurant, it has two. MyCottage has a very particular look, lots of wooden tables, cushioned benches and rustically decorated walls. You can eat in or use the take away option tel, 020 7272 6343.
THE FOOD: Plenty of Lebanese favourites. I went for a falafel (possibly the dullest choice, but very delicious) and an excellent mint tea, served at just the right temperature and packed with fresh mint leaves. In the end three of us picked falafel wraps while Chris went for a lamb wrap. Also ordered by my colleagues, thick lentil soup. I tried a spoonful and found it so tasty that I’ll definitely pick it next time. Also batata harra – spice cubes of roast potatoes. Plus there was an extra basket of warm triangles of pitta and a basket of toasted Lebanese bread (basically deep fried pitta). Everything was delicious.
ATMOSPHERE:Â What a treat – this was part of a working lunch hosted by James West from West Creative and he kindly paid the whole bill. Even better we’d done all the brainstorming in the Park Theatre next door so this was all foodie chit chat, what to look forward to in 2018 and app swapping. I was introduced to Ditty – a fab way of putting a catchphrase to music, and a gif, with minimal effort. My family are going to love my newly learnt skills. James also recommended ITTT, If This Then That, which helps give you Twitter replies etc. Other app suggestions from my lunching companions included Receipt Bank, Excel and Kashflow.
HOM â House of Morocco, 82 Caledonian Road, N1 (the Kingâs Cross end, approx. opposite Housmanâs Bookshop). https://www.houseofmorocco.co.uk
THE FOOD: You have to try the harissa haloumi, and itâs probably best in the flat bread/wrap served with salad. Itâs a good place for coffee, a healthy juice or a range of sandwiches/cakes.
THE ATMOSPHERE: This little family-run cafĂ© is so welcoming. Thereâs a definite Moroccan vibe â not just the food, but most of the staff know Morocco well. Plus this is the place to see â and maybe buy – some beautiful coloured Moroccan pottery including couscous and salad bowls. There are also rugs and bags on sale. Itâs not a souk but itâs definitely a good place to go shopping. Expect to find plenty of uni students in here too.
VERDICT: I loved my trip here and lingered over proper Moroccan mint tea eaten with a very delicious cinnamon biscuit.
COST: Good value for a Kingâs Cross venue.
Mishki was a Saturday pop-up at the interesting Greenhouse cafĂ© (Feest) and workspace off Newington Green where youâll find the cafĂ©, work spaces and rooms for yoga etc. Itâs just by Tesco.
THE FOOD: On the menu: borscht (beef or vegan), a fish platter of cured salmon, pickled herring, smoked mackerel â unusual food that wanted to be tried. My 16-year-old chose the fluffy mini pancakes which you dip into cinnamon sugar and crĂšme fraiche. She was wowed. Like her I wasnât actually that hungry â we were hiding from the rain and lucked out by finding this pop up. So, I went for hot mulled wine, with cinnamon stick, and was frankly stunned to find a piece of beetroot in my drink. Iâm not sure if a Scandi-Russian would eat the fruit in their glass, but I did and it was delicious. Iâd definitely try using beetroot at home instead of a piece of orange.
THE ATMOSPHERE: The Greenhouse is a really lovely space â itâs very light and filled with greenery. All the walls have unique painted motifs and there are lots of options for cosy, deep chats. In the winter, it can be a bit cold but there are rugs on some of the chairs/sofas so you can wrap them around you to stay toasty.
VERDICT: I always think itâs easier to spend money on food that looks hard to make at home – pickled fish and pelmeni are not things I’ve tried creating. This pop-up reminded me to be spontaneous.
COST: Mains from ÂŁ4.50 (soup) to ÂŁ7.50 (pelmeni dumplings).
FIND: Facebook.com/mishkifoodÂ Â insta/twitter @mishki_food
PLEASE NOTE:Â Reviews below areÂ about food or services available in Islington, London. Any entry below will have been sponsored by the company. This means theÂ company will have approached Islington Faces for a review. Any cost will have been met entirely by the company. Do let me know if this is a helpful page. You might also enjoy the suggestions on Go Out Locally (see top).
RESTAURANT REVIEWS 2015-16
Below you will find reviews by Nicola Baird
*Jamie’s Italian Angel, *Brewhouse & Kitchen Highbury, 2015
*ASK Italian, *Zia Lucia, 2016
*Highbury Arts Club (reviewed by Isabel VanderGert – Wilson) 2015
ASK ITALIAN â pop up breakfast
Address: 52 Upper Street, N1
Open: for breakfast July-September 2016 from 8am-12 noon. Also open for lunch and dinner. Mon- and Sun until 10pm, and on Sat closing at 11pm.
Location: spacious one floor restaurant and when the weather is right, at a sunny terrace away from Upper Streetâs traffic just by the Business Design Centre.
Review by Nicola Baird: visited 19 July (tuesday with 3 guests) from 10am-12 noon. Published July 2016
Read all about it: Throughout July, August and September just 10 branches of ASK Italian are serving breakfast from 8am-12 noon. Fortunately for Islington our branch is part of the pop up trial.
Breakfast with an Italian twist â eg, blueberry jam, nutella and banana pancakes and smoked prosciutto – is a lovely way to feel that you are on holiday in laid back Italy, especially with the temperature at 28 degrees in Upper Street.
I was very happy with my black coffee, sour dough toast (ÂŁ2.75) and a spinach and mushroom frittata with spicy tomato dip (ÂŁ5.95). I also loved the way our conversation flowed around eating, the joys of Europe and tales of the times when Islington builders used to add a mummified cat between floors rather than a bresummer beam (see why in this Islington Faces interview with Marco Wouters from Angel Flowers which is just behind the Business Design Centre). Because ASK is just off traffic-choked Upper Street and has a generous-sized terrace overlooking flowerbeds, and our table was under a huge sun/rain shade the four of us spent two hours dawdling over a tasty breakfast.Â And by the way my frittata looked better than the other choices – always nice to pick exactly what you want to eat…
So what did my guests think of their breakfast?
Yasmin, 18 (family friend)
“Iâve not come across restaurants doing breakfast before. I used to live in Essex Road so Iâve been here before as I prefer ASK to the other Italian chainsÂ nearbyÂ because it is good value and good food. I’m so full now, not sure when I’ll next need to eat! My breakfast â the Full Vegetarian Italian (ÂŁ6.95) was really good, except myÂ roast potatoes which were cold whereas Nell’s were hot. I liked the raspberry lemonade very much. Iâll definitely do breakfast here again with my friends, perhaps instead of dinner.”
Nell, 15 (daughter)
“It feels like the summer holidays! I thought the nutella and banana pancakes (ÂŁ4.95) were delicious. If you have a sweet tooth itâs the one to go for. The raspberry lemonade was so nice and refreshing!
“I chose the full Italian breakfast (ÂŁ7.95) and there was a lot of food. I liked the sausage, which had a different flavour to English sausages, and my egg was so sunny with itâs delectable runny yolk. Itâs expensive for me and my friends to come here, but I liked this trip with my mum.”
Priti, 59 (book group friend)
“I really wanted to try the truffle-flavoured hollandaise with two poached eggs on sour dough toast (ÂŁ5.95) and it was yummy. The blueberry jam which came with the croissant (ÂŁ2.50) was delicious and runny, not hard, so you can dip in bits of croissant. The raspberry lemonade was tasty and refreshing; the service from Sebastian excellent and I was impressed that I got an Americano with the cold milk that I wanted â the staff pay attention.
“If I wanted to impress someone over breakfast Iâd gladly take them here. It feels more like a treat than a cafĂ©, even though itâs not more expensive.”
SHOULD YOU GO?
Yes! Breakfast is my favourite meal so no surprise that IÂ thought this offer from ASK Italian was great. The prices would fit my budget (in this case the restaurant kindly paid); the food was really tasty with a nice Italian twistÂ and there was a good selection of dishes – I still haven’t seen the ASK Italian granola but I bet that was lovely. HoweverÂ it’s the location that is so good at ASK Italian, as it is just off busy Upper Street between the Business Design Centre and the side entrance of Angel Central so handy if you are on a shopping mission, but also neatly tucked away from the traffic.
address:Â 157 Holloway Road, N7
open:Â Tues-Sun 11.30am-11.30pm.
location: opposite Ronald’s Road
review by Nicola Baird: visited 30 June, 8-10.15pm (thursday). Published July 2016
Read all about it: The striped awning outside Zia Lucia on Holloway Road are yet another signal that this bit of Islington (sometimes known as LoHo is gentrifying fast). This pizza place opened in June â a decent space of polished old bricks and a wooden floor. A nice local touch is that the wooden tables are made by Gathering Moss, which is based on Blackstock Road.
Zia Lucia is a pizza place and being a serious lover of all things bread (and especially pizza) I of course loved it.
The pizzas are delicious â and inspired by the real life Italian Lucia, who seems to be the three business partnersâ honorary aunt (at least that’s how one of the trio, Claudio explained it to me). Lovely Lucia has even got a starring role on their website, which adds a homely touch, see http://zialucia.com/. Itâs also nice that the pizzas are cooked in a vast red and white tiled pizza oven, nicknamed Dante, which dominates the theatre kitchen. Zia Lucia specialises in offering a choice of 48-hour slow fermented doughs, so you can have traditional, wholemeal, or gluten-free or even charcoal.
My meal was for review purposes. I arrived by bike hungry after a day of commuting and work (which involved two hours of cycling, one hour of walking and another of riding a horse â yes, this is work!) and so it was easy to eatÂ three pizza based courses.
A dish of roast vegetables and a generous amount of achingly fresh mozzarella was served with toasted pizza (forgive my lack of Italian food knowledge). Youâll find it listed as burrata. A lovely dish to get the conversation flowing.
The vegetable charcoal pizza base is very black but it tastes just like any pizza base and itâs allegedly a superfood. I didnât feel that it was the most instagrammable item on the table, but I enjoyed it with both a vegetable topping and an original vegan topping which used a pumpkin sauce instead of cheese. It was lovely! There were meat eaters with me who seemed in 7th heaven trying a wholemeal base topped with truffle oil and nduja (spicy pork sausage).
This was the star for me and I never really eat puddings. I will now, asÂ at Zia Lucia I was offered a nutella-stuffed pizza crust with a topping of custard, strawberries and grapes drizzled with honey and served on a wooden board. To accompany this I had a tiny (that was my choice) glass of cold red (!) fizzy (!) wine that I completely adored. Almost from the first sip of the wine and taste of this fabulous dessert I was thinking I have to come backâŠ
I really liked the simplicity of choice at Zia Luccia. The wines I tried are from a single Italian estate known to the owners. There is a lot of prosecco (which I didnât try), but also a white, a red and that magic sparkling red served cold.
SHOULD YOU GO?
The Italians not only invented slow food, they also helped bring much more delicious food choices to Islington. See this interview with Nina Marcangelo about Alfredoâs CafĂ© on Essex Road. The new generation of Italian food takes this a step further by offering a choice of bases (at last your gluten free friends can join you for pizza) prepared in a non-rushed way.Â Very good luck to this new venture, which opened in mid June 2016 â do go and try it!
JAMIE’S ITALIAN ANGEL
address:Â 409-411 St John Street, North Retail, Angel Building, EC1V 4AB. 020 3435 9915
open: Every day from 12 noon. Shuts 11pm Mon-Sat and at 10.30pm on Sun.
location: 5 mins from Angel tube (depends on the lights at the Co-operative Bank – be careful, this is still a hideously unsafe pedestrian crossing). It’s right by the 19 and 4 bus stop as they come into Angel. It’s almost opposite the Red Lion pub theatre.
review by Nicola Baird: visited 1 June, 12.30pm (monday). PublishedÂ June 2015
summary:Â My lunch companionÂ was the talented singer Hanisha Solomon. Sheâs a long-time friend of Islington Faces (sheâs been interviewed here, and at our 2014 celebration of the 100th interview she performed at the King’s Head). Hanisha and I spent two hours eating lunch (eating, talking and taking selfies) and paid ÂŁ42 for our meal.
Read all about it…
Jamieâs Italian in Angel is a vast two-floored eating emporium. Itâs been open since 2000 so Iâve been to it before with my husband and daughter, Nell. It was Nell who raved about it that time â so she was put out when I told her that Iâd been invited to review lunch at the restaurant, but I was going on a school day, and not with her.Â Jamieâs Italian is brilliant to take children â especially for weekend lunches â but itâs also a nice place to go when youâre not with kids.
My Monday lunch guest was the talented singer Hanisha Solomon. Sheâs a long-time friend of Islington Faces (sheâs been interviewed see here, and at our 2014 celebration of the 100th interview she performed at the King’s Head). Hanisha and I spent two hours eating lunch (eating, talking and taking selfies) and paid ÂŁ42 for our meal. So what did we eat?
Course #1 – antipasti
I wanted to try the sharing plank. It seems so crazy putting food on a bit of wood, rather than a plate, but as we walked into the restaurant we passed a variety of planks on sale in the âshopâ. You could have meat or vegetarian, so I ordered the veggie option for both of us. This meant Hanisha didnât have to worry if pork had been served (which she doesnât eat), and as Iâm a vegetarian it was nice to be able to discuss what we were both eating.
Hanisha and I have quite different food backgrounds: she grew up in Ethiopia with the famous injera bread â which you tear off with your right hand and then mop up the tasty stew (wot) on your plate. I grew up in the 1970s when spaghetti came out of yellow Heinz tins and the tomato sauce was a distinctive orange hue (sort of Lib Dem). So we were both a bit puzzled when the waitress took our order and then came back with two unopened cans of tinned tomatoes. I got quite excited thinking they might be a gift, as it was just what I planned to buy at the corner shop on the way home in order to make my teenagersâ dinner when they got back from school.
Turns out the tins are for balancing the plank on.
I kept worrying Iâd knock it over upturning everything: the cheese on a snappy homemade cracker, a dish of mozzarella, a medlee of aubergine, olives, capers in the centre of the board, an elegant dish of cabbage coleslaw. There was also another cracker with something super tasty on that I gobbled up without managing to photograph, or note down (oops).
We accompanied our plank with artisan bread (ÂŁ3.95). There were breadsticks, focaccia and at least three other breads, which Hanisha and I tore up and dipped into lovely olive oil with a swirl of balsamic in its centre.
It was living in Islington that taught me how to dip my bread. But it was Jamieâs cooking shows (eg, the Naked Chef) that showed me all I needed to make my kitchen miracles was a nice bottle of olive oil. Lovely JubblyâŠ
Overall verdict for the sharing plank (ÂŁ6.95 per person) was it was greatâŠ except the sour style selection. I took the bits we hadnât eaten home (the rule is always carry a Tupperware container), but my kids werenât that impressed either. I think it might be a taste you need to develop. I could imagine practicing eating the sharing plank choices and starting to get more and more into slightly sour aubergine, capers etc. Perhaps this bit of the plank is for a sophisticated palate?
Course #2 â main course
I never order off-menu, and rarely even look at the specials, but when our waitress explained in her lovely Italian accent that Norma â the special aubergine spaghetti â was her favourite, and probably named after the woman who first made this dish, I picked it. It was delicious, and definitely tasted like something I would have struggled to make as well at home: my pasta dishes are fuel picked because of theÂ speed I can get them from pot to teenager.
Hanisha opted for the pan-fried coley with agroddie peppers and focaccia crostini (ÂŁ13.50).
Having the menu half-written in Italian really slows down the choosing process. I didnât really want to ask what all the Italian meant, so had guessed that focaccia crostini was just a posh way of saying breaded fish. It was in fact a very sophisticated, generous coley portion served with a massive slice of bread (as if youâd cut your baguette long-ways).
And it was good. After the meal had settled Hanisha sent me a note to say: “The food is truly fresh & absolutely tasty, the staff were so friendly & we had a great day.”
Course #3 â pudding, cheese, coffee, petits fours etc
Seriously do you think we could eat anything more after a plank, artisan bread and a main courses at Jamieâs?Â Hanisha may be able to belt out huge songs, but she is tiny-framed. Even my hearty appetite, boosted by cycling to the restaurant, was maxed out. So we looked at the dessert menu and both reckoned it could beÂ the Epic Brownie, but we didn’t order. Instead we said our goodbyes and left. This meant meeting the manager â another friendly Italian, this time an AC Milan-fan (whose name I didnât get).
The staff, loos & lifts
I like the way Jamieâs Italian Angel has recruited so many Italian staff. As our waitress Alice (you need to call her Al-e-cha) said: âIâve worked in Turkish restaurants and I liked the food. But here I love the food, it is my home food and I can sell it. I know it.â
With about half the staff (this was Aliceâs estimate) being Italian then it seems that if you want to learn Italian, or get that Tuscany feel Islington used to be so famous for promoting, then the waiters and waitresses are another reason â besides the menu â to go to Jamieâs.
Although the restaurant looks difficult to negotiate there are lifts for anyone who canât use stairs. Contact the restaurant if you need to ask about whatâs available. As for the toilets â theyâre plenty of them so a whole gaggle can wee together. Another way of thinking about this is that there is plenty of space in the loos if you need to escort yourÂ children to them.
Rationale: what’s so great about Jamie’s Italian
In general I try to support the independents. Many of the interviews on Islington Faces are with business people going it alone with a real eye on the profit and loss sheet. Sometimes they can employ people, sometimes they have to work on their own and seem in danger of burning themselves out. But for me Jamieâs Italian triggers a different response. Yes, itâs a chain: the first one opened in Oxford in 2008, and there are now 30+. But:
- Itâs run by St Jamie (well his empire)Â â the man who learnt his skills at his familyâs Essex pub, The Cricketers in Clavering. Been there for a drink thanks to my husband Pete May’s obsession with real ale and Essex, see his bookÂ The Joy of Essex.
- He set up the amazing Fifteen at Old Street (15 Westland Place, N1, ie,Â in Islington) which still givesÂ young chefs experience in the kitchen. Many goÂ on to run their own catering outfits. Been there for a memorableÂ lunch years ago, thanks to author/writer Bee Rowlatt (now living in New Delhi, India but with her next book In Search of MaryÂ due out in October 2015).
- And heâs done so much to get our kidsâ school dinners up to standard. See the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, begun in 2002 with focus on growing and cooking food in primary school; teaching people to cook via the Ministry of Food, plus the apprentice programme at Fifteen.
- He deserves thanks for turning all these dreams into reality. Thank you Jamie!
Back to lunch, or dinner…
Back in food blogging mode I reckon Jamieâs Italian Angel is a great choice if you’re going out in Islington for a meal. Go with family and friends. Book ahead (on line) if you need to guarantee a big table.Â There are so many restaurants on Supper Upper Street, but nowhere withÂ as much space as Jamieâs Italian Angel. That may not swing it for you, the foodâs the thing after all. But in Islington we are often all so crowded that being able to eat out with a load of mates â or your extended family â is a proper treat.
Admittedly Hanisha and I both thought ÂŁ42 was a vast amount to spend on lunch, butÂ the lovely food and relaxed atmosphere made it very special. Even on a Monday when we went half the first floor tables wereÂ busy. I know I’d like to take my mum there for a treat one day soon. And perhaps if my daughter Nell saves up her babysitting money she might take me?
- This is a sponsored review ofÂ Jamieâs Italian Angel
- Listen toÂ Hanisha Solomon performing at Westfield (Hammersmith), see here. Or follow her on Facebook (nearly 7,000 people do!).
BREWHOUSE & KITCHEN HIGHBURY
address:Â 2a Calabria Road, N5
open:Â please check website
location:Â 2 mins fromÂ Highbury & Islington station/tube. Opposite the Hen & Chickens, just off Highbury Corner roundabout.
review by Nicola Baird: visited 6 June, 6.30-8.30 (sat). PublishedÂ June 2015
summary:Â this was a pre-launch of the craft beer chain B&K (which stands for brewhouse and kitchen). I went with my husband Pete May (who loves real ale) and climate change communications expert George Marshall who was stopping off in Islington after addressing the UN in Bonn (read his great book Don’t Even Think About It: why our brains are wired to ignore climate change). Author Pete May isÂ a long-time friend of Islington Faces (he was interviewed on stage abut his Dr Who obsession at our 2014 celebration of the 100th interview at the King’s Head).
Read all about it…
The three of usÂ spent two hoursÂ at this craft beer specialist on one of its pre-opening evenings. We tried all sorts of craft beers brewed on site including 19 (after the bus); Romford Pele (ironic nickname of ex Arsenal player Ray Parlour), Tramshed (because this is the site which used to house Islington’s trams) and Goalscorer (that’s for our Arsenal FA cup winning side forÂ two years in a row). The paddle of three beers allows you to try differentÂ craft beers andÂ quaffÂ a bit less than pints/half pints if there are three of you.
This is all about craft beer: you can’t missÂ the huge vats where the beer is brewed. Kegs for around ÂŁ30 are on sale, so you can carryÂ your favourite local tipple home. Brewhouse & Kitchen HighburyÂ is a chain – and the decor has a very chain look – but it is a cavernous place which now has a lovely garden.
You can take children there judging by the availability of highchairs, note that the women’s loos are downstairs but the men’s are up two flights of stairs.
I liked Brewhouse & Kitchen and I’m looking forward to interviewing the brewer and to finding out what the brewhouse experience (where you brew your own beer) is like. It serves food – think burgers and ribs. The choice for vegetarians was limited to olives and pickles, hopefully this will change else. Good luck to this new venture.
- This is a sponsored review of Brewhouse & Kitchen Highbury
HIGHBURY ARTS CLUB
website: highbury arts club.comÂ Â facebookÂ @highburyartsclb
address: 73 Highbury Park, N5
open: see website
location: Highbury Barn opposite St Joan of Arc church
review by Isabel VanderGert – Wilson: visited 9 June, 11:30am (Tuesday)
summary: Isabel VanderGert – Wilson was interning at Islington Faces when she wrote this review of the Highbury Arts Club. This is her first food review.
Read all about it…
The ambience of a place is always a clincher and the Highbury Arts Club has it down to a T – moody yet inviting. You can tell owner Simon Moore places great importance on having artistic influences as there is weekly live music, regular art exhibitions, and a creative atmosphere. The vibe gives the small cafĂ© depth. The music playing a notch louder than most cafĂ©s would dare, wouldn’t have been so good if it hadn’t been for the perfectly chosen songs selected by Moore’s 22-year-old son. The use of space is innovative too, a large central table saves space but also enables one to easily strike up a conversation with a fellow customer.
The menu focuses more on quality than having a wide selection – often a sign that dishes are of a higher standard. This is especially the case at the Highbury Arts Club given that most of the choicesÂ on the menu were Moore’s own creation. I had the Sydney breakfast which, if I had ever been to Australia I am sure would take me straight down memory lane.
As it was the elegant twist on a fry up has ensured I’ll be straight back to the Highbury Arts Club.
Fresh sour dough bread topped with perfectly cooked and full-flavoured bacon with steamed spinach, grated parmesan and, to top it all off an Egg Benedict that was, expertly cooked. The egg was cooked just right so that yolk oozed out and on to the sandwich below adding flavour to the bacon and parmesan, eventually getting soaked up by the generous slice of bread – an incredible take on an open-topped sandwich. All this was prepared swiftly by the cook, and garnished with rocket with a lovely chilli dressing. I ate it with a green tea to cut the overall denseness of the breakfast.
If you’re looking for a snack over a coffee or some tapas and wine you could also pop into the Highbury Arts Club. I am sure they will not disappoint if the looks of the freshly home made blueberry cakes and the European wine that comes from sustainable viniculture, are anything to go by.
- This is a sponsored review of Highbury Arts Club