Brummell recommends: The Princess of Shoreditch

This gastropub has a reputation for serving some of the best food in London, something that’s only going to grow under the leadership of celebrated chef Ruth Hansom

Food and Drink 15 Oct 2021

The elegant upstairs dining room at The Princess of Shoreditch
Ruth Hansom has transformed the menu at The Princess of Shoreditch

The background

The Princess of Shoreditch has become a Shoreditch stalwart in its 10-or-so years on Paul Street. While known for serving good food, the gastropub recently took its culinary chops to the next level by engaging Ruth Hansom as head chef. The Great British Menu finalist joined The Princess team in August 2020 and has brought a new menu and approach to cooking to the beloved 18th-century pub’s upstairs dining room.

The space

On the upper floor of The Princess of Shoreditch, its dining room is elegant, intimate and romantic feeling. Ascending the spiral staircase, the room is softly lit by candles and – in cold weather – a log fire.

The Princess of Shoreditch head chef, Ruth Hansom
The Princess of Shoreditch head chef Ruth Hansom

The menu

Ruth Hansom has developed a tasting menu of either five or eight courses based on the finest British ingredients. The menus are ambitious, exquisitely presented and a lot of fun to eat, especially due to the enthusiasm and charisma of the restaurant’s staff.

We tried the eight-course menu, which was a delight from first bite to last. The menu changes all the time to reflect the changing seasons and ingredient availability but is consistently brilliant. When we visited the Princess served an irresistible crab tartlet with nori and radish and a bite of chicken liver with yoghurt, pistachio and raisin as the mouth-watering start to the feast ahead. Next, a bright orange and umami-filled slow-cooked egg came with wild mushroom parfait, goat’s curd, and pickled walnut. This was followed by tangy mackerel ceviche with perfect circles of colourful heritage beetroots and then a dish of Berkswell cheese and truffle agnolotti with spring onion, kohl rabi and bacon foam – an indulgent and perfectly salty combination. Aged venison loin with truffle and braised haunch gnocchi, red cabbage and celeriac marked the satisfying apex of the savoury courses and was followed by a palette-cleansing Chapel Down gin sorbet with pickled blackberry and juniper. The main dessert came next: a delicious fig, bergamot, honey, and Earl Grey combination that was delicate, complex and utterly moreish.

The Princess of Shoreditch expertly recommends wines to pair with every course – each is fascinating and wonderful. The list comprises only family owned, small wineries and co-operatives, which makes it interesting and fun to explore. The Princess’s knowledgeable staff were excellent and passionate guides to exploring the list.

The Princess of Shoreditch
The Princess of Shoreditch

The bill

An eight-course tasting menu at The Princess of Shoreditch is £69 per person. Wine bottles start at around £25 per bottle.

The verdict

A keenly priced, wonderfully ambitious and utterly delicious tasting menu in friendly and elegant surrounds – The Princess of Shoreditch is the perfect destination for a celebration, romantic evening or just an indulgent night out.