79 Upper Street
Tel: 020 7704 6905
Euphorium is a modern breezy café looking out on Islington Green. This part of town has always had a lot of eateries they come and go with alarming regularity. But I think that this one will be around for a while. Why? Well because it offers what the people of Islington want, a cool place to hang out, meet up with friends or buy a loaf of freshly baked. There are eight outlets across London in this micro chain this one sits on the site of the old Reckless Records shop. It was famous in the eighties and nineties for supplying the young Turks of Islington with all those so hard to find LP’s and CD’s. Euphorium are supplied daily by their own bakery with fresh bread, pastries and cakes not far away in the Caledonian Road. So not many food miles, which makes for fresh produce, everything here is made from scratch.
People drift in and out here and sip their Earl Grey tea and café lattes listen to the calming jazz in the background and generally relax. We decided to have lunch here. There are quite a few tasty options. We could have had any number of baguettes, bagels, Panini, focaccia with many fillings or try something different like campagrain with shredded beef and truffle oil. These are priced £3.50 – £4.50. We decided to try a couple of tartlets one of salmon and broccoli and the other chicken and leek. Both were freshly made with delectable pastry that just melted to reveal really tasty firm fillings. The choice is there if you’d rather something healthier, a salad maybe of hot smoked salmon with pickled onions and pea shoots or how about Italian Parma ham with mozzarella and roasted aubergine. Tempting at less than £5. A slice of vegetarian pizza had a pleasant crunch as I worked my way through the broccoli, crisped spinach and mozzarella topping.
An apple strudel and blackcurrant cheesecake finished us off, in every sense of the word. Cinnamon was the dominant flavour in the strudel, which also has walnuts to give it some texture, lovely with a little pot of clotted cream. The cheesecake was epic, such a smooth vanilla constancy on a biscuit base that just gave way at the right moment and topped with a tart blackcurrant jellied jam. I could have eaten another but wisely decided not to. These are definitely a one a day type of food.
So Euphoriun has most things to please most people, if you just need a quick lunch or wish to install yourself in one of the comfortable leather sofas and read the paper for a few hours. Throw in friendly, helpful staff who can’t do enough for you and I think there is nothing ‘reckless’ about this enterprise at all.