What: A new ground floor bar and restaurant that's taken over the space within Shoreditch hotel The Boundary that previously housed Albion Café. Huge changes have been made to the space, which was formerly owned and designed by the late Sir Terence Conran. Gone is the grocery store area that once greeted guests when they arrived, and in its place is a striking new 20 metre zinc top central bar. The restaurant itself features a menu of 'modern British food with a European influence'.
Who: The new opening follows the acquisition of the hotel by James McCulloch, who has brought in former 1 Lombard Street and Ekte Nordic Kitchen chef Robin Freeman to run the kitchen. McCulloch is the founder of Harcourt Inns, which he launched in 2014, with the acquisition and refurbishment of The Harcourt in Marylebone. He subsequently went on to develop The Three Cranes in the City; The Coach in Clerkenwell; The Hero of Maida in Maida Vale; The Crown in Chiswick; and KPH in Notting Hill.
The food: Provenance is at the heart of Boundary's menu, with Freeman championing seasonal, sustainable British produce cooked in 'a casual and simple style'. Working with suppliers including Johnson & Swarbrick and the Glenarm Estate, the Swedish-born chef's no frills approach has a classic neighbourhood-style feel, with a range of snacks available alongside an à la carte menu of starters, mains and desserts. Portions are generous, and prices are approachable for the area. Dishes are expected to change regularly, but at launch include starters of Norfolk asparagus with cured egg yolk and caper dressing (£10); raw vegetables with honey glazed walnuts and whipped sheep’s ricotta (£11); and steak tartare with toasted sourdough (£12). Mains include wild garlic and nettle risotto with summer vegetables and pecorino (£16); and grilled Cornish cod with sea vegetables and roe beurre blanc (£25). There's also a sizeable whole-roasted Label Rouge chicken with wild garlic butter and roast vegetables that will easily feed three people for £55.
The drink: The wine list is comprehensive, as is the cocktail selection. With a late license, the bar is set to remain open until 1am, serving a range of spritz, gin and tonic cups and signature cocktails that are almost all priced at £13 and include a 'passion mint' with Plymouth gin, passion fruit, elderflower, lime and fresh mint; and an 'Arctic screwdriver' with Rekya vodka, Amontillado sherry, clementine, lemon, orgeat and cherry tomato.
The vibe: The 100-cover dining room is breezy and bucolic, and benefits from plenty of natural light. The space has been built around the impressive central bar, with tables, banquettes and bar seating all available. A street terrace also features.
And another thing: As part of the overhaul of The Boundary's F&B offering, Freeman will also oversee the menu at the hotel's refurbished rooftop orangery, bar, grill and outdoor terrace. The menu there will alternate depending on the time of year, with a focus on southern French cuisine in the summer, and heartier Alpine dishes in the winter.
2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7DD