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just off Old St roundabout, The Three Crowns isn’t in the most glamorous of locations but once inside the smart gastro pub dining room you’ll forget all about all the traffic and sirens on City Road. The rear dining room is separated from the slightly more relaxed bar area (stop here if you’re just coming in for a drink) by a velvet curtain and there’s a large open kitchen on one side of the room, where you can watch Head Chef Lee Urch and his team at work.

The menu changes every day and with the seasons, offering a nice selection of dishes above the ambition of most gastro pubs (one of the pub’s owners, Luca Mathiszig-Lee, used to work at The Eagle in Farringdon and is also a partner in butcher/restaurant Hill & Szrok). We started with smoked eel, pickled cucumber and horseradish cream – always a winning combination – and fresh crab, roasted tomatoes, avocado and two wafer thin slivers of crisp pancetta.

From the mains we had pork patties (imagine a trio of giant pork meatballs – much better than it sounds) with artichokes and potatoes, and also masala fried mackerel, cooked perfectly with nice crispy skin and served with tomato and chickpeas. A dessert of lemon posset was overpowered slightly by a huge mound of blueberries that sat on top, but the almond meringue with cream and strawberries was a winner – hard to go wrong with those three things really…

All in all The Three Crowns is a nice, modern pub serving excellent food and very reasonably priced. The location isn’t the greatest but it actually works in its favour in some ways as it’s not quite as heaving as many pubs in the area.

8 E Rd, London, N1 6AD