Foxcroft & Ginger seems to have made an attempt to fuse the jam-jar obsessed hipster cafe with traditional Soho coffee shops of yesteryear and has, surprisingly, gotten away with it. Located on Berwick Street, just a few minutes away from Leicester Square, it’s in the perfect spot for a civilised coffee and cake lunchtime meeting.
The layout is easy on the eyes with brick walls, wooden floors and easy lighting; it almost conjures up images of Victorian coffee houses where the first thing you would hear upon entering might be, “What news have you?” If you didn’t have anything interesting to say you wouldn’t get a seat.
Although not quite taking it to that level, Foxcroft & Ginger has the feel of a communal gathering of like-minded people with smart but down to earth characters discussing the issues of the day everywhere you look.
The most important thing to get right for a café is the coffee and you can be assured F & G do, with some of the best that Jules & I have had for a while. Their coffee stood out, which is unusual as you would assume you either get a good or a bad cup, but here you’re treated to an exceptional brew that’s head and shoulders above the rest. All their coffee is made using water that has been purified using reverse osmosis. This takes out all the impurities in the water to give the coffee a noticeably smooth and distinct taste.
The speciality of the joint is their breads and pastries; they make their own sourdough breads which are allowed to ferment with naturally occurring yeast over 24 hours, creating bread with far more flavour than those made with the modern rushed approach. The only problem is with the lunchtime menu which follows the unimaginative trend of yet more ‘gourmet burgers’, which surely everyone is sick of and really does the café a disservice considering how much more could be done with such high quality baking.
I ordered the sticky duck burger which had a great quality bun and a delicious sweet and spicy duck filling that was perfectly tasty, but the decision to serve it with Dorito chips and lifeless salads was a disappointment reinforcing my boredom with the endless restaurants and cafes serving burgers.
Jules ordered the chicken burger with kimchi cabbage which was a slightly different take on your average chicken burger and worked well, but still wasn’t exciting enough to fight off the ennui at yet more ‘gourmet burgers’.
Fortunately, the main goal Foxcroft & Ginger sets out to accomplish is achieved with flying colours. The selection of cakes and pastries on offer are unique and scrumptious. One of the house specialities is the Cruffin, a mix between a muffin and a croissant that has the flakey pastry of the latter with a gooey filling of a muffin. It works really well, especially with the top class coffee and teas on offer. This coupled with the artisan breads on sale and a beautiful array of cakes, muffins and sweet treats makes this iconic 20th century building quite a special place to pop in for a coffee with friends on the legendary cobbled streets of Soho.
|Berwick Street Market, 3 Berwick Street, London W1F 0DR|