Shekha and Jack head down to Drake and Morgan’s recently opened City hotspot – can it survive what must be one of the most competitive places for a watering hole in the capital? Probably…
Modern European / World Fusion
City workers – down from their high towers, cocktail drinkers (basically the premise of Drake and Morgan). Weekday after-work daters, staying for laters…
In a Word
Industrial exposed pipes and brightly coloured graffiti murals are a nod to edginess but the dimly lit interior of this slick space oozes that new and shiny feeling. The venue is the centrepiece of Principal Place, the new generation of skyscrapers that borders Shoreditch and The City, and reflects this with its sleek decor and upmarket feel. Upon entry, it is impossible to ignore the suited and booted workers who rub shoulders with bearded hipster types against a backdrop of gentle house music.
The two bars are impossibly large and well stocked, while a combination of stools, booths and tables make the space adaptable for any occasion. A spacious open kitchen gives an enticing glimpse into the food on offer. Everything at The Allegory is in its perfect place and the venue is very impressive. But, like its glass and steel exterior, it exudes a certain vibe of anonymity more than lovable local, that suggests it needs to wear into itself over time.
The menu is brilliantly varied, featuring a range of classics, sharers and internationally-influenced grub. Drinks were a highlight. Amazing presentation bolstered an extensive menu with interesting ingredients that worked well together.
The Vingnard cocktail was was a juicy combination of grape, lemon and thyme; the refreshing tang smoothed by velvety egg white.
The Jamaican Spritz was a party in a glass with two rums bandying about a glorious medley of tropical fruit, topped by playfully fizzy soda, to make a real beach-inspired beverage.
A scotch egg came next which was outstanding. A twist on the British favourite, this one came with the delicately smoked notes of chorizo and paprika. The perfectly crunchy exterior gave way to gooey yolk which melted in the mouth like butter.
Crab Bruschetta was solid; good bread topped with a generous portion of meaty, sweet flesh which was lifted with a twist of lemon. But Szechuan calamari and prawn lollipops were were both a little greasy.
The portions were well-sized again, with rich, meaty squid and fat prawns, but a lighter batter was needed to prevent these dishes from getting stodgy. To my disappointment, the Szechuan pepper was imperceptible and a numbing hit of this miraculous spice would have made up for the other shortcomings.
Mains were a flatbread topped with mozzarella, n’duja and rocket and a cheeseburger. The cheeseburger was well seasoned and enjoyable. Fries were crispy and well seasoned, while a side of spinach added a bit of variety.
The toppings on the flatbread worked together wonderfully; creamy mozzarella complemented the smooth, luxurious n’duja with a lip-smacking spicy facet from the rocket. Basil lifted the mixture nicely; what let the dish down was the bread itself. The dish is served cold, which gave the bread a chewy, almost floury consistency which became tough to eat. A heated version with a crispier crust would have made this a stunning addition to the menu.
A floral muscat and cappuccino were both a wonderful end to the meal.
This place is guaranteed to be bustling on any day of the week. And with such a varied menu and an extensive and delicious cocktail list, it deserves to be. The venue has something to please everyone and makes a good addition to the City’s plethora of bars and restaurants. However, I think some of the food here needs to be refined before it is on par with the brilliant drinks.
The Allegory, 1A Principal Place, Worship Street, London, EC2A 2BA
0203 948 9810