Time Out says
Please note, The Three Crowns is now closed. Time Out Food & Drink editors, Feb 2016.
The Old Street area used to be a case study in bad urban planning. After the Luftwaffe had lain waste upon random buildings, dual carriageways were whacked on top; residents moved out, and small businesses died. It’s a wonder the Three Crowns survived at all, dwarfed as it is by brutal modernist buildings on all sides. A green-tiled exterior still reads ‘Barclays Stout and Ales’, but even as the pub was reopening in May, the building’s landlord was chipping this century-old facade off.
A new generation of pub enthusiasts are reclaiming this corner site as their own though. The new owners have their priorities right: a big bar at the front, a good selection of craft beers, lots of appealing bar snacks, and quieter tables further back at the ‘smart end’ if you want a full meal.
Beers rotate but Meantime brews are a constant, including its Yakima Red, an amber ale. On our visit, ‘guests’ included Hackney Brewery Best, and Wells Eagle IPA. The bar was rammed with edge-of-City entrepreneurs, well-groomed and studiedly cool, in contrast to the diverse hairstyles and body art of the chefs working in the open kitchen.
Salted duck was cut into clean slivers, the sharply pickled endive and watercress cutting the fat. Cod had been crisped on the skin side, but once sat on a watery stock of artichoke hearts and potato, the fish quickly went soggy; the garlic in a well-made aioli rescued the dish.
Blood oranges topping a meringue had been cooked down so that what remained was mostly white pith. Much better was a pistachio tart, topped with a dollop of stewed rhubarb and Jersey cream.
The cooking may not have been perfect, but the fair pricing, decent beer and good attitude go a long way.
Users say (8)
Average User Rating
5 / 5
- 5 star:8
- 4 star:0
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- 1 star:0
I'm not the type to bother ever writing a review but I feel compelled to do so, having been for dinner to the Three Crowns, last night. The food was absolutely delicious and cooked to perfection. Alas we only had time for two courses but I will return to ensure that i get to experience all three! As a vegetarian you tend to find that the only option available when eating out is a risotto. But not here! Delightful, considered, interesting dishes are on offer. Can't wait to return! Just need to find out if they offer a veggie roast!
The food is excellent and every guest I have taken has enjoyed the talents of the kitchen. Even the drinks are good too, my Bloody Mary was the best I have ever sipped and as a gourmet coffee addict this was the best caffeine I have been served in London. The bar and restaurant excel in 'quality service' but there is no pretensions or fuss. The interior design is simple and thoughtfully executed; even the large curtain that divides the bar & dining room provides privacy and sound absorption. The staff are alert and professional and are pleased when asked to share their knowledge of the menu. I can't wait to return and enjoy the fantastic food served to perfection by such a talented team.
I can't help myself and keep coming back to The Three Crowns because it's so good. To get to the restaurant walk through the bar, which is busy with after-office drinkers. The three guys who own it (the three crowns!) are often working and you always get a friendly welcome. The decor is somewhere between a bistro and comfy restaurant with a bit of East-End art on the walls. But the main vibe is welcoming and unpretentious, But of course, the food is the star. The menu changes regularly and is seasonal and fresh. It was no surprise that the day I collected damson's from my mum's tree I found them making damson jelly in the restaurant. Starters are between £4 and £7 and range from terrines and pates, through roll mops to sardines on toast with a fried egg. Mains come in at £10 to £20 and memorable dishes I've had include pigs cheeks with peas in a broth (so good I tried to reinvent this at home) and slow cooked rib of longhorn with peas and a salsa verde served with a spoon because it was so soft. Desserts are priced up to £7 and include fantastic home made ice cream, meringues and sticky-gooey chocolate things.
It's a long time that I've walked into a London bar/restaurant on Monday night when it has been so buzzy and steamy....started with a nice gooseberry and prosecco spritzer and then led deep into the eater for serious happenings. The waiters were all gorgeous and we loved the fact that they knelt by the tables) No, not a power trip for us but it made everything delightfully informal. I had confit garlic (I was glad and pretty sure that no-one was going to kiss me) but they were delightfully unctuous and nicely paired with a thin piece of toast with a favourite concoction-cheese curd, mint and crushed peas on it. My friend had faggots )Yes' I WAS too frightened but it looked delicious and I had the more ordinary bream. Mine was fine but I did send the odd lascivious look over to his plate. Almond tart was a big success and then we got an extra pudding of cheese curd pie (A bit hard but we were warned and it was gorgeous as it started to warm. all in all, a very good experience and I'm glad to have got in there early as I hope everyone will spoil me again as they did on Monday night!
The Spritzs exactly like in Venice. Very Good selection of wine with realistic prices. The best appetizers EVER!!!!! The grilled fish more than excellent, it makes us feel we are in a trip on the mediterranean see side. A chicken pie even better than the one my grand-mother makes!!! (It is difficult to make) AND THE DESERTS!!!! OUFF!!! Dionysiac!! The place looks like a french bistro, with a little touch of glamour. The people in charge of the place, the barmen and the waiters are charming. Everybody there seems to know exactly what he's doing, and keeps a calm "californian" vibe. A californian french bistro with a cuisine that remind me evereything, but nothing at the same time. On the top of everything, the prices are very affordable. You cannot find better place than that!!!!!!!! The 3 Crowns is the place to go for sure, go, run, get there now!!!
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