We Know It's Cheesy But St Paul's Cheese Nights Are Grate

St Paul, Highbury and Islington ★★★★★

Robert Greene
By Robert Greene Last edited 9 months ago
We Know It's Cheesy But St Paul's Cheese Nights Are Grate St Paul, Highbury and Islington 5

Wine and cheese soirées might sound like the reserve of the supercilious or hipster folk, but newly-opened St Paul is hoping to shake things up with its evening menu. The restaurant-stroke-café is an “informal destination” serving “uncomplicated hearty fare” in the evening; a selection of charcuterie and cheeses with sourdough bread. There are soups and small plates too, but nothing elaborate.

We decide to stick with cheese, kicking off with the baked camembert. You might think it’s a fool-proof dish, a round of cheese whacked in the oven. But then you have probably never tried cooking a block of your run-of-the-mill shop-bought camembert. We don’t recommend it. We do recommend the baked camembert at St Paul though. Drizzled with honey, the hot, bubbly cheese hits the G-spot of these cheese lovers. We have a hard time putting down our dipping bread.

Next up, we tuck into the burrata. For anyone who has never savoured the southern Italian cheese, its translation - “buttered” - is an indication of its composition (and richness). The buffalo milk cheese is made from mozzarella and cream (and sometimes butter), and is essentially an enriched mozzarella. At St Paul it is served cold with smoked almonds, green beans and lemon zest. The cheese has a wet, almost meat-like texture similar to mozzarella. The lemon zest adds a pleasant zesty note, which is contrasted by the smokey almonds.

To finish off, we tackle the generous cheeseboard, complete with five cheeses. The provenance of the cheeses range from France (chaource) and Spain (manchego), to Italy (chilli percorino) and England (tor).  With blue, soft and hard cheeses, there is something to suit everyone’s palate. We devour the lot. The sides of homemade relish, sun-dried tomatoes and stuffed peppers are the perfect accompaniment.

To wash down our gluttony, we have a bottle of Shoreline, a white wine from Lyme Bay in Devon. It’s a light, refreshing wine that is easy to drink and doesn’t distract from the food.

We don’t claim to be wine connoisseurs, or cheese experts for that matter, but we are passionate about both. And if it’s simple, high quality cheese and a pleasant drink that you’re looking for, then you gouda love St Paul.

St Paul Islington, 274B St Paul's Road, Highbury, N1 2LJ.

Last Updated 19 March 2018