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This branch of the Workshop Coffee Co is a naturally laid-back venue that's about more than just great cappuccinos. Caffeine geeks can still drool over the in-house roastery, shelves of
paraphernalia and the gorgeous-looking coffee machine, but there's plenty more to detain them. An upstairs dining room serves a fusion-tinted menu of small and large plates that happily marries
Asian and Mediterranean flavours with a dash of Middle Eastern. Wash down bresaola with poached pear and goats-curd salad on dukkah-dusted focaccia or guinea-fowl saltimbocca with herbed couscous
and tomato chermoula with a London-brewed beer, a ‘hair of the dog’ cocktail or something from the tiny wine list. If you're after something to ‘grab and go’, try a sourdough ‘brat’ (bacon, rocket,
avocado and tomato) or a zingy Key lime tart. No bookings at weekends.
Being just a few steps away from my old acquaintance Workshop Coffee Co. offered us the clever plan B that saved the day.Among all the things I love about Workshop, the food deserves a special mention. Starting the day with a muffin is never a bad choice, especially when said muffin is huge, and made with oat and cinnamon. If you don’t like the taste of cinnamon (one of life’s greatest little pleasures, as far as I’m concerned), fear not: Workshop’s chocolate chip muffins and assorted morning pastries look just as tempting. If you’re more of a brunch type, you can choose from a selection of heartier mid-morning fares, including the toasted banana bread with date and orange jam and mascarpone cream that Nazia got...
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Foodies across London have been on high alert since Ben Spalding announced his departure from John Salt due to disagreements with its management. While he’s deciding on a location, format, etc for his permanent restaurant Spalding is still doing pop-up stints in the meantime. In this vain Ben Spalding recently announced a new pop-up project. We were fortunate enough to score some tickets to his latest stint at the Workshop Coffee Co. in Clerkenwell...
More from FoodiesOnTheProwl FoodiesOnTheProwl »
Workshop Coffee has recently rebranded from its old incarnation of St. Ali, and sits at 27 Clerkenwell Road, between St. John Square and St. John Street. It's the kind of place I could sit for hours, sipping a cold Camden Brewery beer, watching the beautiful (and sometimes freakishly odd) people of Clerkenwell hustle by...Sadly I don't have hours, I have lunchtimes, and so I arrived at the business of chowing down on the Workshop burger. A burger that's been under the radar for far too long...
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Workshop Coffee Co. (formerly St Ali) on Clerkenwell Road is one of a growing number of Antipodean-run cafes with a reputation for serving fantastic coffee. Having heard rumours that it also does a mean brunch, my boyfriend and I decided to go check it out last weekend. The brunch menu is excellent - although perhaps leaning towards the pricey end of things - and features some innovative dishes which I will definitely be going back to try (such as the braised beans with salted ricotta, lemon and truffled marscapone - yum!). There are a couple of decent healthy options too: apple bircher muesli with strawberries, labna, and pumpkin seeds sounds delicious; while mango, pineapple and strawberry fruit salad is sexed-up with the addition of minted yoghurt and granola. And for those with a sweet tooth, the toasted banana bread (with date and orange jam, expresso marscapone, and hazelnuts) or the french toast with rhubarb compote and orange marscapone would both make a welcome change from Danish pastries or pancakes.This time, we both opted for the 'make your own'-style cooked breakfast. This consists of two eggs (poached, scrambled or fried) served with sourdough toast, tomato kasundi (a spicy Indian tomato relish), and a choice of sides from a selection ranging from from halloumi and chorizo to kipper and black pudding.We both went for poached eggs and a portion of dry-cured bacon; I chose thyme-roasted mushrooms as an additional side, while my boyfriend ordered the grilled halloumi. Our eggs were perfectly poached (although with a residual vinegariness to the whites which was not altogether pleasant...), with sunset orange yolks that oozed seductively onto the thick wedges of buttered sourdough toast. The dry-cured bacon was sweet and smoky, pairing excellently with the tangy tomato ksundi, and my mushrooms (dark and glossy) had a lovely nutty flavour overlaid with a pleasant hint of thyme.One stab with a fork and the yolk oooozed out onto the toast...mmmmWith service, the meal (eggs and toast, two sides each, one tea, one orange juice) came to £34 - so (as I mentioned above) it was pretty expensive. However, I suppose prices are pretty much in line with similar venues (such as the nearby Caravan) and the cool atmosphere (stripped back, warehouse chic) and good location means there are still queues out of the door if you arrive too late.I drank tea alongside my breakfast, but as we were leaving decided to order a latte to go. It was genuinely one of the best coffees I've had in London (if not the best) - making Workshop Coffee Co. an ideal spot for coffee-lovers as well as foodies.Tea? Don't be silly, get a coffee!*With Lantana, Caravan, Flat White, and Kaffeine all serving up tasty cups of Joe 'down-under'-sylehttp://www.workshopcoffee.com/menus/brunch.pdf
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