One final household meal before we leave Islington and in our minds, there was no other place more suitable for this occasion. To me, The Albion in Islington is the quintessential modern Islington pub, masterfully combining a beautiful location, great rustic atmosphere all topped off by fantastic food.
The Albion is far from a secret, and the gorgeous Georgian pub is known to draw in the local Barnsbury crowd creating an atmosphere that feels far, far away from the hustle and bustle on Upper St. The lovely beer garden is a major draw on the weekend though the gastro-pub does turn a little ‘hip’ towards the back end of the week.
A starter of house cured salmon (£7), was served with fennel salad and buttered brown bread slices arrived first. The salmon was flavourful, fresh and slightly unevenly sliced which I felt gave it that little rustic edge.
Potted beef (£7) was a little strange. A potted jar of beef was dramatically served on a huge chopping board alongside crusty sourdough, cornichons and sweet onion chutney. Being served inside a jar, I actually expected it to be similar to beef rillettes. Instead the beef was a quite terrine-like in texture which made extracting from the jar a little complicated. Coupled with the fact that there was a huge layer of clarified butter to get through, I didn’t exactly love the dish. Cornichons and sweet onion chutney were good though.
Our 30 day aged rib of lorrghonr beef (600g, £35) pour deux was an absolute success. Cooked perfectly medium rare the beef was a substantial portion of tender, juicy and flavoursome beef. Served alongside a delicious garlic sauce, the beef was perfect with a slight touch of mustard and mountains of triple cooked chips. We almost forgot to share.
Our main of calves liver with potato mash and bacon (£13) was less successful. Whilst our waitress indicated that it would be cooked medium, it was served more on the more medium–well side. Perhaps the problem was that the liver cut pretty thin? Aside from this whilst the liver itself was well seasoned, the addition of bacon really made it far too salty and I ended up abandoning it on the side.
Skipping desserts, and together with a few bottles of wine our meal came in at a decent £35/head. Not out of the ordinary for a gastro-pub in Islington, but not exactly what I would call an everyday meal. The Albion also offer a £300 whole roasted sucking pig for 10 which I have been meaning to organise. Perhaps a reason to return back then? I think so.