Sitting on a stretch of Royal College Street without much to recommend it save for access to the Regent’s Canal, the Prince Albert can’t get a huge amount of passing trade. Still, even though the upstairs room (nominally a restaurant) was closed, a midweek evening in June saw it doing a decent trade in the airy, bright, street-level pub space. It still feels like a pub too – there were at least as many drinkers as diners when we visited, and the clientele covered an attractive mix of ages and genders.
The menu is heavy on comfort cooking: appealing-looking and clearly popular burgers, served 2013-style on wooden boards with fattish chips; haddock and chips; scotch egg; sausage, mash and onion gravy. However, the rewards may lie in the ‘seasonal specials’ section, which on our visit included crab claws with garlic butter and sourdough toast; a chunky, perfectly pink lamb chop with vaguely minty yoghurt and ‘aubergine caviar’ (in layman’s terms, baba ganoush); and some lovely braised beef short ribs, shredded and served in a little tower with mash and mushrooms.
Beers include four ales and Meantime’s London Lager. Service was polite but plainly short-staffed: try as they might, a single bartender and a lone waiter/bus boy couldn’t quite keep up.