Mr Elliot Hammer—
After the new branding Elliot reveals what keeps us coming back to Workshop.
Mr Jamie Orlando-Smith—
Brighton Based food photographer imparts a few tips from his history as a chef whilst tucking into a dish or two.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for most of the week, but once the weekend comes around its all about brunch.
B.B, ESQ.‘s Creative Director, Elliot Hammer takes our resident food photographer, Jamie Orlando Smith to investigate an old favourite on Clerkenwell Road.
If you haven’t heard already, Workshop has a thing for coffee. At the back of the cafe is a heavy lump of engineering that for the most part of the day sits dormant in its stainless steel glory. Standing as stoutly as an Italian Mama and with a similar posture it keeps a watchful eye over the wood clad cafe. If you happen to be lucky enough to step in as the beans are being roasted then you’re in for a treat. Unfortunately today is a Saturday and it’s her day off.
Being a little later to our brunch than we expected we fell into the strange time between late morning and lunch but fortunately the menu is available until 4. Upstairs is quieter and better for groups. If you can, the window seats are the best as they catch the sun off the buildings across the road and are a lighter spot in the otherwise moodily lit upstairs restaurant. Luckily for us they just became available and we quickly snap them up.
Oddly enough the decoration seems to be a running theme in the B.B, ESQ. reviews as readers of Issue One will notice. Needless to say that the flocked skull and crossbones wallpaper isn’t our favourite feature in what is otherwise a relaxing, wooded dining room. The hanging wall garden and roaster are the centrepieces of the space but it’s a shame that they are so far away from everything else that is going on. But we’re getting distracted, we’re here to talk about the food and that’s exactly what is about to arrive.
It’s hard for a small restaurant to stand out but Workshop does what Workshop does well. The menu doesn’t change often and there aren’t any specials. They’ve only been here for a short time and they are concentrating on getting things right. As our Instagram feature, The Menu will testify we are fond of Workshop’s Dexter Burger paired with a Pale Ale from The Kernel Brewery. Our guest at the table gives it a try and isn’t disappointed. It’s a clever mixture of distinctive flavours that marry together well and can only be improved by the brown bottle. Today it’s a little early for us to tuck into a big burger so we get started with what else is on offer. We happen to have gone overboard on the ordering and have a lot to get through.
Starting with the Corn Fritters and Halloumi, topped with a poached egg — this is the star of brunch as we have a big apetite to satisfy and are feeling rather malnourished. It’s the perfect hangover cure with the rich egg on top of a substantial amount of filling carbohydrate. It’s also satisfying because of its size; you’ll be around for a while trying to finish it off.
For the sweet toothed diners amongst us, go for the Brioche French Toast. The blood orange mascarpone is subtle, perhaps a little too subtle but the delicate rhubarb more than makes up for it — soft, sharp and refreshing. The contrasts of flavours and textures are exciting and combined with the sugar rush are perfectly equipped to perk us up for the rest of the day.
Clearly we are big fans of Workshop and I’d recommend that you try everything at least once. With a short and sharp menu it shouldn’t take too long to find your favourite but whatever you do — start with the Corn Fritters for brunch and the Dexter Burger for a later appointment. We’d also recommend that any meal be perfectly finished with a coffee, obviously.