The Eagle Clerkenwell – the bifeana is boss

The Eagle is a gastropub, a bare bones one that extoll the virtues of simple cooking as a pub should. The menu carousels daily apparently and what you get is chalked on blackboards above the open kitchen where the flames spit and the bald man cooks. Check out their instagram too for what’s cooking. Inside the forest green painted pub, there is mismatched wooden furniture with characterful distressed green Chesterfield sofas – makes a change to the distress brick-look for once. The Eagle was founded in 1991 by Michael Belben, a former restaurant manager and chef David Eyre, who’s aim is to bring good value that delivers ‘Big Flavours and Rough Edges’, the same title as their cookbook.

I came for their widely lauded marinated rump steak sandwich, the “bifeana” £13.50. What hits you immediately is the heft of the sauce that speaks loudly of wine, it’s a sticky onion reduction with perhaps a mixture of fortified and obviously red wine with a fleck of earthy green herbs. It tastes of lots of love, care and its core is one of stock that has been bubbling for hours. The rustic white roll perishes when you bite into it and drips down your forearms as it should. The sauce, the star of the show becomes friends with the un-yielding slices of rump which requires jaw patience to break down, but the flavours will reward you.

The verdict:

When did I go? Dec 2017
The damage: Expect to pay £20/25 per head with a pint
The good: I came solely for one thing, their “bifeana”, a riff on the Portuguese “bifana” sandwich which is by tradition made out of pork. It’s properly delicious and has given me reason to explore this pub’s food more.
The bad: You’ll need good jaw strength to get the best out of it. Chances are that of you read this blog, you probably do.
Rating: 3.5/5
Would I go again? The bifeana sealed the deal.
Address: 159 Farringdon Rd, Farringdon, London EC1R 3AL

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