For once, you can trust rave reviews
22 August, 2019 — By Tom Moggach
The spinach, avocado and bacon starter comes is good value at £4.75
RAVE reviews often make me suspicious – especially when posted online.
Albion’s, a new restaurant in Kentish Town Road, seems to get a lot of love on Google. It deserves more than five stars, apparently. It’s a hidden gem, one of the area’s best kept secrets. I had my doubts.
Cycling past, it’s hard to fathom what exactly they serve – just a sign promising breakfast, brunch and dinner.
This address was previously the site of Lazy Hunter, a restaurant that fizzled out. Their neighbours include Anima e Cuore and Arancini Brothers.
Stepping inside, they have barely altered the stylish interior. Even the hunting horns and binoculars still hang on the wall.
This all makes sense when you meet the new owners, a lovely couple called Kujtim (“Tim”) Veselaj and Pranvera Mehmeti.
He’s a highly experienced chef, with nearly 20 years’ experience opening restaurants in the UK; she handles front of house. Originally from Kosovo, they fled their country back in 1999 and first settled in Kentish Town.
“We came from war in Kosovo. We didn’t know if we are going to be alive the next day,” explains Veselaj. “But we know one thing for sure – that wherever we go we will be in freedom.
“We’re not going to be afraid that anything will happen to us. We came to the country which gave us the opportunity to believe in the future.”
This is their first venture together. They chose the name of Albion, an ancient name for Great Britain, in thanks to this country. It is also the name they chose for their eldest son.
I visited for dinner, noting their main new addition – a secret covered garden with coloured cushions, rugs and fake grass.
The menu offers classic dishes – often French and Italian – such as a seafood linguine, duck confit, burgers, steaks and also a brunch menu featuring eggs benedict and the like.
The cooking is excellent. Portions are large and prices are extremely keen. My duck confit, for example, was a huge dish with potato dauphinoise, a mound of green beans and a glossy rich sauce – priced just £13.50.
For a starter, a spinach, avocado and bacon was well-assembled with a feisty dressing. This cost £4.75.
My favourite was a bowl of plump tiger prawns, cooked in butter with chilli, garlic, white wine. This was served on a slice of sourdough to soak up the juices and priced at £6.85.
You might wonder what the concept is here at Albion’s. Down the road they serve purple Filipino ice cream, for example.
But the chef here believes in classic home cooking and good value. “We think this is what people are forgetting.”
Show your support – Albion’s is a proper neighbourhood restaurant offering a warm welcome. The owners are slowly building their clientele by word of mouth.
The location is not exactly glamorous; but the rave reviews are well-deserved.
117 Kentish Town Road
020 3490 8970