Earlier this week Grind opened their latest joint, Clerkenwell Grind. It’s spread out over two floors, and features their biggest restaurant to date and a late-night club/bar. Scott and I went during their soft launch and bagged ourseleves a table on a Wednesday night after work. It’s literally around the corner from where I work in the Barbican and Scott greeted me with one of their legendary Espresso Martinis.
I love the look and feel of the the space, and is located in an old warehouse building on Old Street. You’re greated with one of their signature neon signs before heading into the restaurant which is decorated with beautiful plush pink velvet chairs, marble table tops, royal blue pannelling, which is all complimented with golden lights.
There’s always bound to be a few hiccups during a soft launch, and there were quite a few items on the dinner menu which were no longer available. I was disappointed when I heard that they had run out of both the starters I had really wanted – the octopus and scallop, so instead I opted for the beef tartare and Scott went for the fig and black boar speck on toast. I love beef tartare and adored the gimmick of the egg yolk served in half an egg shell.
Between courses we ordered a side of potato skins and unfortantely they weren’t crisp enough and tasted rather bland so we had to add quite a fair bit of salt.
Moving onto mains, I had the sweet potato harissa cakes topped with a poached duck egg and Scott had the bavette steak and had orginally ordered a side of chips. As the food was being served we were told that the chef was not happy with the chips so instead we recieved a bowl of sweet potato flavoured with truffle and garlic.
My poached egg was perfectly runny but the sweet potato cake was a bit too oily for my taste. Scott was not impressed with his Chimichurri sauce either yet the steak was beautifully cooked and was served pink in the middle.
I love the fact this coffee bar is a five minute walk away from my day job so to say I was exicted by its arrival was an understantment, there’s not a huge amount of variety near the Barbican – I’m so spoilt by Pret and Pizza Express. I’ll never complain about a lack of decent places to eat and drink near the Barbican again and if I can drag my arse out of bed a bit earlier, I could always pop in for breakfast before work.
Clerkenwell Grind, 2-4 Old Street, EC1V 9AA