Camden Town, is the land of endless kebab and fried chicken shops and where there really aren’t many real restaurants at all. Then there is The Foundry, which is a nice little restaurant off the main stretch and away from the crowds, on Delancey Street.
Walking in off the street, your in the bar area which also incorporates the casual dining area. The portraits of jazz musicians on the walls hints at the theme of this restaurant and live music venue. This rooms leads onto a buffer space with a glass roof and a living wall which then opens up into the auditorium built for classical music performances. This “The Forge” which is run as a non profit organisation to gives young musicians a venue to showcase their talents.
Upstairs, there is a spacious restaurant space with windows that can be opened up for the nights when there are live acts performing. The walls are clad in sustainable wood and like downstairs, more jazz singers watch over you as you eat.
Now on to the pies. The Foundry recently introduced Pie Day on Fridays where they will have a variety of pies on the menu.
A group of cold of hungry bloggers were ushered into the kitchen where the head chef did a quick demo on how they make their steak and ale pies and a sweet pear tart. The meat in the pie is slow cooked for about 2 -3 hours in a veal jus, Meantime real ale and a variety of aromatics until tender before it is used to fill butter puff pastry cases.
The sweet pear and frangipane tarts are made with a puff pastry base and filled with frangipane cream and topped with slices of pear before being baked for 15 ins in a medium oven.
Each pie we tasted was paired with a real ale from Meantime Brewing Company, the 2nd largest craft beer brewery in London. Rob from Meantime, a passionate beer brewer, shared some great historical stories on beer and how they make their beers and what inspires them to create their new beers.
When we sat down for the tasting, the first pie was an unexpectly robust vegetarian pie made with mushroom, spinach, parmesan and cream, seen here drenched in their delicious onion gravy.
This was paired with the London Pale Ale, made from an original Victorian recipe.
Then we had a chicken pie which was paired with the Light Indian Pale Ale. This one had a fruity flavour and a citrusy tang. This was my favourite of all the beer we tasted that night as it tasted more like a soft drink than a beer.
Lastly, we had the steak and ale pie with the rich succulent slow cooked meat, crispy buttery pastry and lashings of onion gravy. Rich and unctious. Delicious. They paired this with the Meantime stout which is derived from the London Porter beer. which has a dark brown colour which has a slight balsamic flavour, with burnt toast and chocolate notes.
For pudding, we were served the Frangipane and pear pie that we saw them make earlier. A very light and crispy pastry and not overly sweet. The chocolate porter sweet beer they served with this complemented the sweetness of the pudding. This is one of the more modern beers that they make and was brewed using some secrets tips including using chocolate in the brewing process unlike some others who add in chocolate syrup or chocolate essence to an already brewed beer. There are hints of raisin and coffee flavours. Quite interesting.
If you fancy some great tasting home made pies, you must try the steak and ale pie. It is well worth the trip to Camden. Better yet, buy a few to takeaway too. Fridays are pie days at the Foundry.
The Forge has a full programme of musical events and there are some that include a dining option too. Check it out on their webstie.
The Forge and The Foundry
3-7 Delancey St London
London NW1 7NL
020 7387 5959