I may or may not have mentioned this before but I’m not all that crazy about Sunday roasts. I know, I know. Practically treason in this country, no? But see, although I like them as much as the next person, I think I’ll always prefer Dim Sum Sundays simply because that was our tradition at home. Still, what better way to celebrate the birth of the new Royal Princess than by telling you all about the Sunday lunch at this little place called The Princess?
It’s part of the Noble Inns group, the sister restaurant of the Pig & Butcher, which I’ve waxed lyrical about time and again (see posts here and here), as well as Smokehouse and Bad Egg (both of which I WILL get round to posting about at some point), and it’s gotten quite a few awards to boot. Located in Shoreditch, just a few minutes’ walk from Old Street roundabout – once you’ve gotten your bearings right, that is. (Don’t laugh – I know I’m not the only one who gets confuzzled by roundabouts!)
Inside, it looks exactly like what I imagine a Princess of Shoreditch to look like – muted elegance combined with the rough-and-tumble style that is so very Shoreditch. H had booked in advance – always a good idea on Sundays, as it was packed by 1PM – so we got to climb the iron-wrought spiral staircase to the upstairs dining area, which I really liked because of the large windows and natural lighting. N, astute as ever, also pointed out that the upper storey is a little uneven, which you will notice as well if you pay closer attention.
The waiters were all very lovely and the service was relatively quick. Our food arrived pretty soon after we had placed our orders.
Pâté is such a classic starter when it comes to pub grub, and I always love me some liver.
I really enjoyed this! Texture-wise, it was smooth, creamy and rich but was still nicely whipped and airy. And I liked that this was paired with grapes instead of some sort of chutney because, although I normally object to uncooked fruit, the fattiness of the liver really needed this to cut through it and brighten it up a bit. The toast was a little soggy, which was disappointing, and we ran out of bread after we were only halfway through the mound of pate. But of course, me being me, I shamelessly asked for more bread teehee. Thankfully, our second serving of toast arrived freshly-toasted, which actually made the parfait even more enjoyable. I mean, just imagine the cool, creamy liver melting into the hot, crispy toast. YUM. Pâté party in my mouth!
For another great chicken liver parfait, try the one at Tramshed (see post here).
They serve all their roast dinners with duck-fat roasted potatoes, seasonal greens, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. H went for pork while N and I both got lamb.
First things first, big thumbs-up for portion-size. A Sunday roast MUST smack of abundance as soon as it is set down in front of you. And now the taste.
Before I talk about the meat, I’ll just say that I found the trimmings quite disappointing. The roast potatoes were more hard than crunchy, their innards more mealy than fluffy, and overall, they weren’t too flavourful despite having been cooked in duck fat. The Yorkshire pudding was a little burnt and dry, so much so that I didn’t even finish it. And the greens were exceedingly normal.
But on to bigger, better things, like the meat! The pork was nice, not too fatty but still juicy. I found the lamb very good. Full of flavour. I love all the different textures you can get from different ways of cooking lamb. Roast lamb isn’t fall-off-the-bone tender like braised lamb is, but it isn’t at all dry, and it has a meatiness and sturdiness that I really appreciate about it.
I would say that overall, the lamb here is nicer than the Pig & Butcher and the Abingdon, but the accompaniments weren’t especially great, which is such a shame! In terms of the other roasts (chicken, beef and pork) though, I would still choose the P&B.
Anyways. You know the best thing about gastropubs?? Something like 80% of them do sticky toffee pudding. (Casually making up statistics as I write, as you do. Who needs Qualtrics when you can just IMAGINE?!?!) Which we ALL know, is the Queen Mother of all puddings for me. Say it with me, kids, ‘you can’t spell Steph without S-T-P!!!!!!’
So you might remember me saying previously that I’ve gotten much better at sharing food. Well. It is true, I certainly have. But I still can’t share sticky toffee pudding. And so we ordered 2, one for me to devour all by myself.
Now, this was by no means the best sticky toffee pudding. This pudding itself wasn’t as moist or dense as I normally like. You could definitely taste the bourbon in the toffee sauce, which I thought was quite nice, as it gave the STP a touch of booziness without being overkill, although I generally dislike alcohol in desserts, as my usual energy levels + sugar + alcohol = not a great combination (for my dining companions especially). Overall, not great, but an STP is an STP, and perhaps I am being a teensy bit biased here, but even a mediocre STP still trumps most other desserts in my books.
And therefore, another picture.
I really wanted to try the other dessert on the menu, and so I ordered that as well. Hehe. Once a fatty always a fatty!
I love financiers but apart from a chocolate-raspberry financier that I love to make, I don’t think I’ve had many chocolate financiers. Anyways, these were missing the delicious browned butter aroma that I like about the ones I make and they were a lot lighter and had a looser crumb than I was expecting. The salted caramel ice-cream didn’t taste very much of salted caramel. I wouldn’t order it again personally.
In general, I don’t know if I will necessarily come back for the Sunday roasts or desserts but I would return for the chicken liver parfait and also to try the rest of the pub menu. If you want to read more about Sunday roasts, see these posts here and here! And if you’re looking for some other great places to eat around Shoreditch, see these posts!
THE PRINCESS OF SHOREDITCH
76 Paul Street
Monday to Saturday: 12–11pm