by Immy Smith
The tale of Crispin begins — as so many do — with a Scotch egg.
Entrepreneurs Dom Hamdy and Oliver Hiam made their fortune hawking them at a stall in Borough Market, going on to open a coffee shop in Aldwych, and finally, in 2018, unveiling Crispin in a futuristic glass hobbit-hole sandwiched between Spitalfields Market and Liverpool Street.
It’s a place that looks good from every angle (and there are a lot). And inside, the restaurant feels spacious with terrazzo-marble surface tops, a sweeping bar and floor-to-ceiling glass, so the space floods with natural light all year round.
On a regular day or night, expect to see a menu of sharing plates that has a strongly British bent with French verve. The plating is pretty, the ingredients are sourced locally and there’s a strong emphasis on celebrating small-scale producers. Familiar and totally moreish flavour pairings are given an unconventional edge in dishes such as Sardinian ricotta, caper berries, broad beans and mint piled in a cluster on crisp-edged toasted sourdough; plump chunks of monkfish with pomelo, borage, Alexander salt* and blood orange vinegar; and delicate cinnamon pannacotta, with mulled pears & lemon thyme. Not to mention the brunch dishes, featuring golden-yolked and perfectly runny eggs, and very good coffee to take away.
Crispin’s also a hotbed for culinary collaborations, inviting chefs from the likes of Pidgin, Pleasant Lady and Retan to take to the stoves for one-night-only appearances, alongside head chef Lewis de Haas (ex-Petersham Nurseries, The Shed) and his team.
Wine-wise, the menu leans towards natural wines that showcase indigenous and rare grape varieties. Whether you’re after something funky, fruity or more straightforward, you’re in safe hands with the selection compiled by resident sommelier Alex Price. And the proof’s in Crispin’s latest chapter; a wine bar in Soho.
Whatever they’ve got…
…turns out you can bottle it.
NOTE: Crispin is open daily for coffee & shopping, and for lunch Wed-Fri, dinner Wed-Sat and brunch on weekends. You can find out more, and book, HERE.
Crispin | Pavilion on The Corner, White’s Row, E1 7NF
*Alexander salt: apparently discovered by Alexander the Great. Once you’ve tasted it, you’ll probably think he had too modest a name, if anything.
Like dining out in the area? Check out the best restaurants in Spitalfields.