Restaurants & Bars 4

Two places in Shoreditch, London

limster | Dec 6, 200911:03 AM

• Albion at the Boundary
A satisfying fish pie, with good chunks of white fish (cod? haddock?), hearty pieces of hard boiled egg (not overcooked) and the occasional mussel that swam in a well calibrated amount of cream. Pleasant mashed potato, somewhat smooth, with minimal graininess. The potato surface was nicely browned, with the edges on the patterned surface crisping well for a good textural variation.

Sides are a little pricey; a small bowl of sprouting broccoli, slicked with butter was around £3-4ish iirc.

I liked the hot berry and apple crumble, with a heart-warming custard sauce that rounded of the tangy fruit.

• Pizza East
Good crispness in the crust that was more or less the right thinness, blistered on the surface and breaking crisply. Suspect they have a seriously hot oven. But the crust, while good, is not exactly perfect -- a pinch more salt might have helped with the flavour of the crust, and there wasn't a satisfying (albeit brief) chewiness that one might find in some of the best.

The toppings were disappointing. The tomato sauce was overly concentrated, with the faintest possible hint of char (excessive reduction?) and seemed almost like tomato paste. Basil, while evident in reasonable scatter of thin green stripes, was muted, maybe because of the intensity of the sauce. Mozzarella was too chewy and some bites were rubbery rather than stringy, and lacked the clear milky flavour that characterise some of my favourites. But at least it was melted in pools, rather than chopped and scattered.

Dessert was very good -- hot light beignet-like donuts, fluttering with egg whites. They're dusted with cinnamon, a restrained amount of sugar, and I also tasted a nuanced touch of salt, that rounded everything nicely, even interacting well with the chocolate dipping sauce. the chocolate sauce was fine, less milk would have been preferrable for me, but that's a bit of a quibble. Not cheap at £6, but quite worthwhile.

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