The 3 Crowns – London N1
October 24, 2013 § 1 Comment
It’s not just about the pretty plates at this quaint Shoreditch dining room.
Arriving unforgivably early for dinner one evening, and having already burned time by missing the correct bus stop, I decided to wait for my date at the restaurant (certainly beat hanging around Old St roundabout). Tucked away in the back of a local boozer, this quaint dining room with an open kitchen oozes charm. On first impressions, it might appear to be a bit of an afterthought, playing second fiddle to a successful pub. But how wrong you would be.
After all of 10 seconds, my waiter took pity on my solo status, and eagerly started suggesting ways for me to pass the time. A ‘Pear and quince fizz‘ (£5.5) was top of his list, so I dutifully obliged and suddenly my lonely wait was looking a lot more rosy. Bang on 7pm, Amanda arrived. I was impressed by her puctuality and by now a little tipsy – so obviosuly thrilled to see her. Our charming waiter appeared once again, this time with a plate of crostinis for us to nibble on. I was really beginning to like this place already.
After spending a suitably long time catching up, we decided to share some starters and order the whole partridge for our main. The ‘Arbroath smokie, potato and landcress salad‘ (£7) was fantastic – flakes of intense smokey fish were tossed into a salad with crushed new potatoes. The best of the bunch. A hearty slice of ‘Jellied pork terrine with pickles and toast‘ (£6) was a meaty choice; full of flavour and as good on its own, as it was spread on toast.
The ‘Whole roast partridge, Savoy cabbage and pancetta‘ (£16) gave the arbroath smokie a run for 1st place, particularly the side of Savoy cabbage, which was sweet and salty and gorgeously seasoned. The bird itself, although tough to tackle on these delicate little plates, was worth the battle; succulent and juicy.
A highly unneccessary dessert of ‘Tarte Tartin‘ (£5) brought the meal to a close. Amanda refused to help me so I did the sweet, sticky, tart, tarte tartin as much justice as I could. Our waiter had the rest(!).
Now you may, or much more likely, may not, have noticed the array of plates our food was presented on throughout the evening – each indiviual and unique, and all sourced from antic shops, car boot sales, donated by friends or found in dusty attics. They certainly added an entertaining element of old-world charm to the meal, especially as Amanda, it turns out, is a bit of a pretty plate fanatic, so was having an absolute field day examining each one, making several “joking” attempts at stealing a few of the more unusual dishes. But dainty plates aside, The 3 Crowns is a charming dining room with a kitchen that turns out British classics with a flair of originality. The service was fantastic and I would highly recommend an evening spent tucked away in the back of this anything but ordinary boozer.