The Compass, N1

the compass The Compass, N1Feeling a little lost in the world of food & drink? Maybe you find yourself going round in circles trying to find somewhere to decent eat?  Let The Compass guide you past the quagmire of dodgy gastro-pubs into a haven of great food! (OK, no more puns!)

 

Situated in the ever lively Chapel Market, The Compass is a pub and kitchen which oozes charm and character.  The oak-panelled bar dominates the room and is supplemented by vintage chandeliers, reclaimed timber flooring and former school desks complete with graffiti (although thankfully the old chewing gum seems to have been removed!).  Additionally, in a stroke of genius, they have installed an open kitchen which allows the aromas of the delicious food to waft through the restaurant and tempt all who smell them. 

 

The continually changing food options are split into bar, lunch and dinner menus and, as is now the norm, heavily focus on seasonal British ingredients.  Head chef Ben Bishop also flexes his culinary muscles by doing much of his own pickling, smoking and they even bake their own delicious bread.

 

Fortunately, the food matches up to the promise.  For starters, the perfectly cooked and generous dish of Pan fried fois with apricot & gooseberry chutney had most of the room salivating with its sweet aroma whilst the salad of Roast squash, watercress, semi-dried tomatoes, goats cheese & pine nuts was fresh and tasty.  Mains were a Whole roast pigeon, potato fondant, baby veg with pan juices, which I can only describe as Autumn on a plate; at £14.50 for a complete meal, it was good value too.  Miss Pancake similarly enjoyed her Rib-eye, with hand-cut chips.  Desserts were an unbelievably rich & moist Chocolate brownie and a decent attempt at a Apple tatin. 

 

The attention to detail also extends to the drinks.  Almost all of the hand-pull beers are sourced from small independent breweries and include Alton’s Pride, crowned champion beer of Britain by the Great British Beer Festival and Cheddar Valley Organic cider. They’ve also got a good selection of lagers, whilst the well-matched old and new world wine list has a strong Portuguese presence.

 

Food: 4/5

Venue: 4/5

Value: 4/5

 

Cuisine type: Gastro-pub

Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £50

Beer: £3.50

Wine: £3.90

 

The Compass

58 Penton Street

Islington

London N1 9PZ

Tel: 020 7837 3891

www.thecompassn1.co.uk