Named in homage to England’s first coffeehouse (Oxford’s seventeenth-century The Angel, FYI) Jacob the Angel is a stylish little café in Neal’s Yard, from the folks behind The Barbary and Palomar. Here’s the deal: the dinky space is takeaway focused, with a daily changing menu and friendly service. There are wooden interiors and a concrete floor decorated with brass lettering; a table crammed full of appetising-looking fare – mostly sandwiches and big salad bowls – and a counter full of eye-catching cakes (look out for the coconut cream pie, more later). If it’s just a caffeine fix you’re after, they serve decent, strong coffee from Square Mile.
There were ups and downs with the food. A decent spread of sandwiches were made with quality, thick-cut sourdough (a little too thick for some) supplied by Hackney’s Dusty Knuckle Bakery. But, with the notable exception of an excellent chorizo and berkswell (a manchego-style sheep’s cheese) number, and an off-menu fontina cheese and caramelised onion toastie, the fillings didn’t quite stand up to scrutiny.
Still, other successes included a punchy fennel and radicchio salad with orange and goats’ cheese, a light yet chewy sesame bagel with lemony cream cheese and thick slabs of smoked trout. And that coconut cream pie: think crisp, light pastry and a custardy filling, but with texture from piles of desiccated coconut. Adorned with smooth Italian meringue, it was heavenly, gooey deliciousness.
It’s The Angel, reinvented. Not everything works – but the things that do, really do.
|Venue name:||Jacob the Angel|
16 1/2 Neal's Yard
|Opening hours:||Weekdays 8am-5pm; weekends 9am-5pm|
|Transport:||Tube: Covent Garden|
|Price:||Lunch for two with soft drinks (no service): around £30.|
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