Sunday, 22 January 2012

An Orgasnic Evening - The Duke of Cambridge, Islington

Despite being a foodie, I've never been totally sold on this organic thing. Isn't organic food what the amateur gardener grows in their back yard? Isn't organic food the stuff that everybody used to eat years ago, yet didn't actually know it at the time? Anyway, in an era of mass production / less quality I'm open minded on the subject which means that I have an excuse to do my research!

The Islington food scene is as diverse as any area of London. OK, it doesn't have wall to wall Michelin starred establishments like Mayfair, but it does have numerous restaurants, cafes, bars etc of which the standard is generally quite high. The Duke of Cambridge has become a bit of an institution. Set back a couple of minutes from Upper Street, you probably wouldn't know it was there unless you were a local. It holds the distinction of being the UK's first ever organic gastropub and its commitment to such philosophies stretches from the food, beer and wine to packaging, wastage and utilities.

The pub is split into two areas, one reserved more for drinking whilst the rear is a cosy restaurant. The menu is ever changing, even during service and the organic feel even extends to the staff who are all genuinely friendly. After sampling the beer and some wine, we settled on two vegetarian dishes, the pumpkin risotto with gorgonzola and the chickpea and apricot tagine. The risotto was perfectly creamy with the cheese just giving it a special bite whilst the tagine danced all over the palate. Both were washed down with an excellent Viognier. For dessert, the lemon tart was pretty bog standard, albeit still deliciously zingy. The chocolate pot with salt and rosemary was on another level though. The chocolate was devilishly rich, but this was then broken down by the salt which then led to the subtle taste of the rosemary. A cheeky little sticky Muscat suitably complimented dessert. Some people may consider this pub to be a tad expensive and resort back to the argument why pay more for less? However, in terms of value for money I have absolutely no complaint and would recommend this venue to anyone.

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