Boasting the largest beer garden in Shoreditch, the Crown and Shuttle is one of those all-inclusive trendy pubs that not only boasts an excellent selection of beer and ale but prides itself on a spacious exterior to enjoy the unpredictable British summer weather. I had passed the pub many times on travelling up towards other pubs around Hoxton square, so the opportunity to try them out on a company summer party was a great excuse!
Despite it being a Friday lunchtime, the pub was more or less deserted, with a few tables here and there taken by other punters enjoying an extended lunch break over a beer or wine. This was hampered somewhat by us being a group of twenty, so after playing waiter to get everyone's order, I dutifully ordered at the bar and waited for the chefs cooking in an caravan-style oven in the courtyard to prepare and send over our food. Admittedly this was a little longer than expected but kudos to the cooks is in order as they did send it all across at the same time.
Before long, we had what we had ordered; pretty much one of everything off the menu, including a standard Crown Burger and fries for me and the ability to pick from everything else (including onion rings, chilli cheese fries and chicken wings) as I wished. Speaking of the side dishes, a quick word is in order about these; the chilli cheese fries are well worth getting and do not doubt the decision for a moment. Portions arrive in a large sized bowl with plenty of chilli and cheese throughout and in truth left me wondering why I had bothered ordering the standard affair.
Likewise, the wings are also great - plenty of chicken and pretty large to boot, though the sauce itself is not particularly hot. Don't expect the spiciness or flavour of, say, Meat Liquor's Bingo Wings, but these are certainly decent as a side dish or appetiser with a beer. After all, this is kind of the thing that you expect to get at a pub.
It is slightly disappointing then that the main attraction is nothing special; a slightly above average catering-grade beef patty atop a large slice of tomato, gherkin and lettuce leaf, stuck between a brioche bun. While it has all the usual elements of a decent burger, especially compared to what you might find elsewhere, and doesn't taste terrible, it is decidedly average. I believe the main thing that brings this down is the lack of sauce or strong flavour of any kind, making me reach for the ketchup to equalise the matter. In the past I have found that this is to highlight the quality of the meat, but when the meat isn't really anything special this seems more and more like an oversight.
An oh-so-slightly average patty bolstered by better side dishes makes for a decent bite to eat if you happen to be drinking there.
Where can I find them?
A stone's throw from Liverpool Street (Metropolitan, Circle, H&C lines) and Shoreditch (Overground) stations