Wow - this is like the exact opposite of when I went in, and they couldn't have been more smily and helpful. Perhaps you caught them on a bad day?
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Workshop Coffee Co
While our focus on serving great coffee has never faltered, we quickly added to our repertoire breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch services, rapidly receiving acclaim for each. We've been voted Runner Up Best Independent Cafe Europe (Allegra Symposium), Best Vegetarian Breakfast (Observer Food Monthly), and 'a great day-time cafe, becoming a major point of interest' (TimeOut).
We've recently extended our offering into the evening, opening late to include the service of beer, wine and a range of delicious bar snacks downstairs, and informal a la carte dining on the first floor, Tuesday through Saturday.
A continually developing focus on conscientious and considered sourcing show less
27 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1M 5RN
- Farringdon Station (0.3 km)
- Barbican Tube Station (0.4 km)
- City Thameslink Station (0.9 km)
- Contact us:
Contact via email
- Opening hours:
Mon: 7:30 - 18:00
Tue - Fri: 7:30 - 22:00
Sat - Sun: 8:00 - 18:00
94 Brick Lane, London E1 6RL
“Papadoms is an Indian restaurant in Aldgate, E1, London. We serve Indian food both for delivery and collection. Our opening times are Monday to Sunday 18:00-23:00. We deliver to the following areas: E1, E2, E8, EC1, EC2, EC3, EC4, N1. FREE...” more...
18 reviews of Workshop Coffee Co in English
I first wrote this review when it was St Ali. I live next door and am into my coffee, but I don’t go there that often. Why? Its almost too perfect and charges for that fact. Plus ‘optional service charge’ Anyway, here’s the juice:
The decor is great – a living wall, warm wood everywhere, great coffee tools : used to have a wicked Slayer espresso machine, until it busted so they have to be content with a Synesso. You can opt for big shared tables, a little table or hang out on the bar.
A roaster lives out the back. They roast a few times a week, even with the customers in the shop – and they still manage to keep it nice and clean – its what we like.
As with every café, the experience is dependent on the staff who are neat and civil.
My current favourite place for breakfast. The coffee is awesome, though be warned, it’s strong. The food is fantastic, my regular breakfast is the french toast which is perfect with a side of Halloumi. The service can be hit or miss, the staff seem nice, but are often just too stretched, especially since the cafe featured in The Times “best breakfast places” pullout. If it’s busy you often have to wait ages for a table and then for your food. Luckily it’s worth it.
Best coffee in London, hands down. I found the food a bit disappointing, however, especially after the monstrously long wait. Who thought a sweet tomato salsa goes well with poached eggs?
That said, the portions were not small, and the roasted potatoes should not be missed.
Today I went to St Ali to take a look and try their coffee. Basically, everything is nice and looks good and clean, but for some reason, I just did not really feel too comfortable there. You come in, and then the first thing happens: you get asked if you want to eat or not, then you will be seated and get the menu. This is just more restaurant-like than cafe-like. I guess this is, what irritated me a bit.
It was great, I got water without I needed to ask for it, the cappuccino tasted delicious and the (dark?!) chocolate muffin was also very good.
So St Ali is for sure one of the better places to have a coffee in London, but still it won’t become my favourite place.
I am afraid I am going to have to go against the masses on here,
I was not impressed with this place at all. Myself and a colleague stopped off for a lunch before our meeting next door. We were shown to a cramped table on the top floor and given our menus. After 20 minutes and still no service from a member of staff, I got up to find one.
After finally taking our order, we both had the ham sandwich (£5.50), this arrived fairly quickly. Unfortunately the sandwich was horrible (I have no idea how you can get a simple ham sandwich so wrong!) the bread was so dry I could barely chew through it so resulted in taking the ham filling out, regrettably when I did this I then saw the ham I was eating was grey in colour with a lot of fat on it, the chutney used was also extremely perfumed in flavour which was pretty inedible.
Having given up on our lunch we decided to pay and take our drinks downstairs to finish with our other colleagues who had arrived for our meeting. While walking to the stairs we informed a scruffy looking waitress in a headband that we would like to pay and take our drinks downstairs to finish, her response was as follows:
“You cant do that, we are full, either drink your drinks back at your table or leave”
Luckily for her and us another waiter came up to see to us and said this would be fine to take our drink down to the bar area and we could pay over at the till with him. We complained that our food was awful and he did offer us a free drink next time we came in and gave us as card.
All in all rude (female) staff and terrible food. Needless to say we will grab lunch elsewhere before our meetings in this part of town again!
OMG I am so in love with this place, after being taken there by an Aussie friend of mine last week.
The breakfast menu, left me drooling, everything sounded so delicious it was hard to pick.
Being veggie there is sometimes limited choice, not so here.
Service was prompt & friendly
Definitely will be back soon!
Reviewed using iPhone. Get the app
I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting to go to St. Ali since I heard about it. What was I waiting for? I was waiting for my awesome group of girls to head there with me. Trying to set a date is not easy with one who travels extensively for work and the others busy with plans and holidays. We finally stick our heads in and decided on a date.
St. Ali is not the easiest place to get to but on that fateful morning, the sun was smiling with its sunny rays as I made my way there. I was greeted with the warmness of the wood décor and the big island right in the centre where pastries are arranged on one side waiting enticingly to be eaten.
I found my friends and we started checking out the menu while catching up. I have to say it was negotiation time as we were deciding on what we fancies and ensuring that we have as many variety to try as possible. There were so many in the menu that I wanted to try that it was quite tough to decide.
In the end, decisions were made and we placed out orders. Of course we had to order some coffee at St. Ali and chilled coffee and cappuccinos were ordered. They were good.
Our food started arriving and we started to tuck in.
Dutch oven house braised beans on sourdough toast, salted ricotta lemon mint and a poached egg £6.75
LB ordered this as I only got a taste but it was given the thumbs up and very filling indeed.
Mexican cousin £9.25
The Mexican Cousin includes corn fritters, baby spinach, haloumi cheese that has been grilled with a poached egg. I love corn fritters, at least the type that I eat in Sydney. Light and crunchy with the taste of corn still prominently shining. This version from St. Ali is called Mexican Cousin for a reason. It was unctuous, heavy and starchy which wasn’t to my liking.
The Usual Suspects £4.50 (+ mushrooms £2.5 + chorizo £3.5)
Ahh, what can the usual suspects be? It was eggs cooked to your liking for which I got scrambled eggs which comes with sourdough toast and tomato kasundi. I added in mushrooms and chorizo too.
This is everything you want from a breakfast/brunch. Light creamy fluffy eggs, the toast were perfect and the tomato kasundi was just so tasty. Mushrooms and chorizo were cooked well and I happily tucked in.
Banana Bread £4.75
The absolute star was the Banana bread. Sydneysiders are crazy about their banana breads and I missed ordering that for breakfast in the morning. It was best toasted with that thin layer of sugar which caramelises. Sweet and rich, I love it. The banana bread here was light which is different to the usual heavy rich banana bread that is made with overripe bananas. The banana in this was most likely slightly under-ripe or only just ripe to give the lightness. A spread of date and orange jam on the banana bread, which had the texture of chutney and was sweet and savoury at the same time. Topped with a dollop of espresso mascarpone and sesame seeds brittle.
The whole things works and it was like heaven in my mouth. The lightness of the bread, the slight hint of espresso in the mascarpone that just melts in your mouth. Add a swipe of the jam and it was another explosion of different flavours and textures that just combines so beautifully. I was dreaming about this for days after.
I dreamt about it so much that I couldn’t help heading there again even though I would only have a quick one hour before I had to head off. Filtered coffee was ordered this time which I tried and it was good.
The Banana bread was ordered which brought me to cloud nine again. Ordered the Usual Suspects but with grilled kippers this time. I was slightly apprehensive when I saw the abundance of bones sticking out but actually, it was soft enough to crunch through and eat.
We also ordered the Pink Firs after being recommended it. We were wondering what in the world are Pink Firs. It turned out to be potatoes! Potato lovers would love this. I am not a potato fan so this was OK for me. The chipotle mayonnaise was good though.
I left satisfied and full with a smile on my face once again.
The espresso is delicious and strong and certainly a welcome pick me up on a gloomy day. A great place to sit with friends and enjoy a snack and proper coffee. They even did some nice coffee art (see the picture with the hearts). The croissants were fresh and buttery (the chocolate one had very good quality chocolate in it and just enough to satisfy the craving.) the brownie was very soft and moist and packed full of walnuts. I’m sad I didn’t find it sooner but it’s worth a special journey.
Reviewed using iPhone. Get the app
I am loving “the St. Ali” I will always walk the extra block to get a decent shot of espresso and this place is more than worth the price and shoe leather - popping in for a shot scheduled in journey! The ambiance of the building is both inspiring and relaxing. We have eaten here a couple of times and found the menu to be interesting and better value for money than expected.
The service is very attentive and in-line with the atmosphere, both times our waitress was been delightful.
My only gripe with St. Ali is the lack of wifi, all our business and meetings are based on or around the internet and we would certainly use this place more often if there was wifi; having said that it is a good place to unplug ;-)
This place sucks, it's pretentious bullsh*t attitude is exactly what's wrong with new places opening these days. My experience was thusly:
Walk in, ask for cup of tea and piece of cake, was asked to sit down to order my drink. Sit down. Wait 5 minutes for tea attendant, 'Can i have a cup of tea and a piece of cake?' wait 5 minutes, piece of cake arrives with two jugs of water, sit confused, wait another 5 minutes, nothing, wait another 5 minutes, another tea attendant comes over 'sorry sir, we don't have any tea pots left,' i reply, 'that's fine, just put it in a cup' they say, 'sorry we can't do that, we need to strain the leafs' i say 'fine, can i just have the bill for this bit of cake then'. Wait 5 minutes, wait another 5 minutes, stand up go over to counter area, 'i just want to pay for this piece of cake and leave' to which they respond 'oh sorry sir, all the tea pots are broken, blah blah blah'. Utterly useless. What sort of cafe cannot serve tea because all the tea pots are 'smashed' there's an argos 2 minutes down the road, go get some.
I don't get it. I really really don't get it. Maybe it's because I didn't have coffee (it was a million degrees outside), but after reading the Qype reviews I was expecting to fall in love on the spot, and actually, I was happy to leave. It's just not particularly welcoming.
And the strange thing is, the staff try so hard to be welcoming. It's a bit fake to be honest. It was a strange afternoon - they were almost closing, there was some filming going on. There was about eight members of staff and three customers. I don't like that you can't see what soft drinks there are, I don't like that they don't tell you that you need to spend over £5 on your card. The person I was meeting had to pay for my drink. I don't like that they charged me £2.40 for a CAN of lemonade.
And as cool as the place looks (all industrial and stripped back), I think it's just a bit too cool for school. The staff are trying so hard, but they're not perma-happy and it grated with me a bit. Don't ask me how I am and then walk away. That's just rude.
Maybe I came at the wrong time, maybe I should have come for coffee and breakfast. But there's a lot of cafes in the area, so I probably won't be rushing to come back. But I might get a takeaway coffee just to see what the fuss is about.
alexsheppard, 20 June 2011:
£2.40 for a can of lemonade? That's pushing it, even for Clerkenwell.
Siany, 20 June 2011:
Yeah, I might not have minded if I'd enjoyed my half hour there.
ErikME, 21 June 2011:
Try the coffee, it is one of the better in the area.
portapak, 8 November 2011:
i think you’ve got to expect to pay cash unless its more than £5 or so.
Great Australian coffee shop in what used to be a bar. THey've made full use of the central bar counters downstairs to great effect, making the place seem open and spacious, and also a more friendly place. Often you get coffee shops where the bar is in the corner or at the far end of the wall, with the counter as a "barrier".
Service is prompt and extremely friendly, and upstairs there are some long wooden tables to share as well as individual ones. Great place to read a book or have a coffee with a friend. And on the subject of coffees - they make really smooth lattes, some of the best I've had in London.
A bit pricier than other coffee shops in the area, but given that its got so much more personality and better quality coffee, well justified.
The London Insider
A couple of weeks ago I was in Melbourne, where I had the enormous good fortune to visit the original St. Ali. I absolutely loved it, and when I heard about a newly-minted branch in London I had to go investigate. JUST HAD TO.
First off, it's a bit posher than the one in Oz. That's not a bad thing, but it's a different beast from the ramshackle warehouse I've been to. Interior design features plenty of wood and granite and glass.
Second (and most importantly), the coffee. IT IS AWESOME. Freshly roasted on-site, in a big old machine behind a wall of glass at the back of the shop, and it tastes like frickin' gold on your tongue. I gleefully smashed back a couple of flatties, yo, and within moments I was buzzing and my limbs were involuntarily trembling.
Third, the food. Some of the items from the Melbourne menu have been imported over, some of them haven't. Alas, the dish I had was lukewarm and stodgy (and yes, it was the same dish which I'd sampled in Melbourne...), but for the price it was head and shoulders what you'd get in a pub (or indeed, in the Giant Robot diner just adjacent).
Fourth, the service. The staff in here are truly wonderful, and this is no word of a lie. In a moment of idiotic clumsiness, I knocked a bottle of water out of a waitress' hands and made a ridiculous mess of their shiny new floor. But they reckoned it was their fault and took several drinks off my bill. I am gobsmacked by their generosity.
Pay this place a visit, you will not regret. Amazing coffee and amazing service, and you can't have enough of either in London town.
Oh the taste of home!
Proper Antipodean coffee served with a smile and a broad Greek-Melbournian accent. Like drinkable homesickness.
The flat white was one of the best -if not THE best- I have had on this side of the world.
Didn't order any food as I was just stopping in to avoid the rain on my way to a meeting but I will next time. The table next to mine ordered some kind of heavenly brunch that brought memories of Australia flooding back.
Why are Australians so good at brunch? Is it the weather?
Anyway, will definitely eat here soon. It still gets five stars for the coffee and friendliness.
Just around the corner from my office this new wonderful place opened. Being a coffee addict it was hard not to go there. The place, like the other reviewers already said, is spacious and sleek, just somewhere really inviting to sit down and enjoy some good coffee. The coffee is really well made and with the right balance to it (I had a cappuccino which a lot of places seem to get wrong).
I decided to try The Mexican Cousin, corn fritters, halloumi and poached eggs. Great for breakfast/lunch but was big enough to have as a light lunch as well. Not too oily or heavy, the corn fritters were nicely crispy with tasty poached eggs on top. Would easily go here for breakfast.
Overall a great place and a nice addition to the area offering both great coffee and food.
One fleeting visit, so I'll give myself the option (or luxury) of whacking an extra star on next week. However, I was mightily impressed by this legendary Melbourne coffee company's new venture just down the road from my abode. It's snazzy, spacious, the snacks look delicious and my double macchiato was mentally, mentally fantastic. Especially when you cionsider that I was meant to have quit the stuff four months ago.
The lasting impression as I zipped in and out was my eagerness to return. Soon. And with my delightful wife. (She's Italian, if you didn't know).
One floor blew me away, God only know what the other three will do.
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