THE FOUNDRY Camden
3-7 Delancey Street, London, NW1 7N
020 7387 5959
Camden has long been known as a centre for live music rather than as a food destination but with the opening of The Foundry, Camdenites, as well as visitors from outside the borough, now have somewhere they can visit safe in the knowledge that they can eat well. Attached to the arts venue The Forge, The Foundry offers an unpretentious yet civilised space for eating amongst the urban buzz. The space itself is modular and can be split into a variety of configurations with the front section hosting the bar, a restaurant section in the middle and at the back, a concert area with pride of place going to a rather sexy looking Steinway grand. There is also a more formal restaurant space upstairs that is only open in the evenings. The bar has a cocktail menu featuring botanically infused drinks using homemade marmalades, infusions and cordials created from plants and herbs grown on the restaurant’s wall, however my guest and I opened proceedings with a well-sourced glass of prosecco from the wine list.
The menu majors in British and Italian dishes with prices sitting comfortably mid-market and a feature is a list of gourmet Ploughman’s dishes which can be for sharing. On a dull May lunchtime The Hedonist felt a distinct craving for something Mediterranian and so we headed down the Italian route interested to see if the space’s previous incarnation as a Sicilian restaurant Caponata, had left its mark.
For starters we had plates of Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Butter and Sicilian Prosciutto.
My dining companion who has just returned from a Tuscan meatfest gave a good report on the prosciutto with the richness of the Marsala sauce combining well with the ham and fruit.
The pumpkin ravioli was freshly made with the richness of the filling lubricated by the vegetal sage butter however the pasta itself could have been finer and more silky in texture.
For our mains I ate a dish of Roast Salmon, the fish of the day. The flesh was firm and just the right side of being overcooked and was well accompanied by the sweetness of the caramelised onions and tomatoes.
My friend chose the Roast Duck Supreme with caramelised apples, pomegranate sauce and new potatoes and for her the duck was overcooked though good value at £16 and described as ‘easy to eat’. It looked pretty good to me…
Sides of spinach, hand-cut fried and new potatoes were excellent and the wine list is intelligently put together offering good value with bottles sourced from less marked up areas; the Portuguese Douro white we drank that could have passed for a Burgundy three times the price.
For desserts I went for the trio of sorbets, pear, orange and rhubarb and lemon which were delicious and on a par with the ices from my favourite London gelateria Gelupo.
I really like The Foundry. Combined with The Forge the owners are trying really hard to create a neighbourhood arts and food hub and I think it should be supported. Recent events include an Indian Influences Festival, pop-up Cannoli Bar, a Farmer’s market and top quality jazz from artists such as ex Jazz Messenger Jean Toussaint. The food is robust and good value at the price point and on a par or better than some recent hyped Soho openings.
We dined as guests of The Foundry.
Starters are £4.50-£6
Mains are £9-£19
Desserts are £5