you know me, i’m a sucker for a good coffee shop and even more so when there’s a slight twist in the tail!
opened early last year, london grind is a riverside espresso bar by day, cocktail den by night, housed in a former bank at london bridge, above borough market. while the other grinds at old street and shoreditch have a real focus on coffee, this one is the first to offer a full all-day food menu, which makes sense given it’s prime location next to the foodie mecca of borough market. it’s taken me a little longer than i would have liked to get around to visiting, but i finally managed to squeeze in a little visit with my good pal alex (one half of the stylishly fit fashercise), for a good ol’ catch up over the seasonal all-day dining menu..
on a thursday evening the place was a-buzz with throngs of city workers gathering for post-work cocktails at the bar before hitting the commuter train home, and gaggles of girls toasting the unofficial start to the weekend over an array of small plates, before heading over to shoreditch to dance the night away.
we perused the menu over the thudding thump of music cranked just a few decibels too high (or perhaps i’m just getting old?), shouting at one another across the table as we discussed our choices. given that the original shoreditch grind was conceived as a high-quality coffee offering with music at its heart, served out of an east london recording studio, i can almost forgive them but by the end of the night my hoarse throat and ringing ears were begging to differ. but still, at least the music was good.
we started with gazpacho with toasted sourdough for me, and smoked burrata with datterini tomatos and crispy basil for her. i loved the addition of the giant gherkins, which paired wonderfully with the sweet peppery-ness of the cold siup, while alex assured me the burrata was delicious – it’s times like this when i really hate not being able to eat dairy anymore!
for our main i chose the roasted butternut squash and red quinoa salad, while alex indulged in the creamy truffled pearl barley risotto topped with (incredibly garlicky!) king prawns.
both dishes were tasty and plentiful, but we agreed that the flavours didn’t quite stand up to the quality of the starters we’d enjoyed before – oh well.
seeing as the grind group are known for their coffee it seemed appropriate to skip the dessert menu in favour of coffee-based cocktails to see out the night. having perfected their coffee offerings at the orginal shoreditch outpost, grind’s renowned grind house espresso blend is at the heart of their signature espresso martini, regularly named amongst the best in london – it certainly didn’t disappoint! we also thought it wise to taste-test espresso old-fashioned for good measure, made with single-origin infused bourbon and bitters, and were hard pressed to choose a favourite.
it’s a safe bet we’ll be back just for the espresso cocktails alone!
if you’re looking for other great places to eat and drink like a local in london, be sure to check out citizenMag for more fabulous recommendations.
our meal was complimentary for the purposes of this review. all views and food photography are my own. all restaurant photography © paul winch-furness, london grind.