the compass, islington [London]
Last night, following the Dos Hermanos review and given i had to meet some friends in the area, we went for a few pints in the Compass (formerly Salmon and Compass) at the end of Chapel market near Angel tube.
It was probably the best bar food i've ever had. We didnt try any of the mains (they looked a little on the expensive side for a pub at around 15 quid a pop) but we did try four of the bar snacks they had on offer.
1) Duck scotch egg/Scotch duck egg (3.50): Amazing. Great crispy coating, meltingly unctuous (sic?) sausage, and an egg with a runny yolk. I think they must of read the hermanos review and cut the frying time down. it was a real, proper and true piece of food. a bit of brown sauce on the side as well. fine by me.
2) crab on toast (2.50): two slices of good, slightly and rightly burnt toast with a huge covering of mainly brown crab meat, mixed with creme fraiche i think, that was reminiscent of a shellfish welsh rarebit. at just 2.50 it was great value for money
3) goats cheese, olive and tomato gallette (3.00): flaky pastry, sweet tomato base, a hit of cheese and some olives. the pastry was really good, the olives were a little bland. they seemed to be tired and a bit past their best. that said the cheese and pastry combo made up for that.
4) squid in crispy batter (3.00): a nice bowel of crispy and tender squid. i think it was a bit overseasoned if im honest, perhaps that would be my minor criticism of all the snacks, but then it did make me drink my IPA a lot more quickly.
Which reminds me: Good IPA, in a proper glass mug, 3.00. All four for 12 quid would have been a great meal in itself. Shame I had to share it all.
If you live or work in Angel, I think this is definately one of the better options available. I'd always enjoy happy hour at the Winchester, but this is a real pub, with real food, and real ale.