Located in the Ace hotel the Bulldog enjoys the luxury of amazing design and few large seating areas. They have brilliant set-up, top notch equipment, great coffee beans by Square Mile BUT unfortunately not such a good result. As mentioned in the other reviews maybe 'the wrong' barista was behind the machine... My cappuccino was lukewarm and very fluffy, missing the creamy texture that micro-foaming is adding. A friend had Macchiato which was lukewarm as well and too milky (looked more like Cortado). Coffee wise it was a disappointment.
Well that was a massive disappointment. Imagine my excitement when I heard Square Mile had opened a new coffee shop a short walk from my office. Unfortunately the Flat White was bitter and perish the through, I think it would have been better with a little sugar. The filter was even more distasteful. They have spoken of their "new method" of producing filter coffee, which is essentially pouring through the espresso machine, the same as I used to do until I learnt better! It was overly strong and removed all the delicate notes a great coffee roast can bring. No better or worse than a Starbuck's filter. Come on Square Mile, you can do much better!
Unfortunately your coffee will vary according to barista. The young, fresh-faced English guy seems to do well; the dark-blond guy not so well at the moment. The espresso was clearly over extracted. Almost metallic bitterness (surely not still the newness of the machine). The milk was perfectly steamed, but overall my flat white was barely drinkable. The place and service are great. You don't have to brace the furniture in the cafe as you can sit in the hotel lobby, which is great. I hope someone takes charge and fixes the coffee. It's the only place open at 6:30 on a Sunday.
Unfortunately when I visited, the coffee was not very good. My espresso was clearly under-extracted. Enamel stripping sourness. I would have engaged with the barrista and requested a new one, but when they made my espresso, the first attempt poured too slowly to get a full espresso. Barrista #2 told barrista #1 that he had just adjusted the grind finer by 2 notches so he'd just have to make it coarser by 1 notch. They did no tasting or dialling in and barrista #1 (and#2) appeared to have no idea what they were doing. Loads of great coffee in that area. Inexcusable to leave two untrained kids running the machine. Unfair to them too.
Bulldog Edition is effectively the foyer coffee bar of the Ace Hotel, the first offshoot of this ultra-hip American hotel chain outside the States. The original, Portland (Oregon), incarnation is in the hotel previously used as a scene in Drugstore Cowboy. No junkies in evidence on my Shoreditch visit though, unsurprisingly. The coffee bar occupies a space between the hotel's foyer proper and the restaurant, Hoi Polloi. It's a deliberately simple, stripped-down layout, with a large bar on the left, a couple of desultory stools by the window, and two flip-up wooden benches at the far rear, each with a small table. The room is light, open and spacious, with fairly little seating, none of it comfortable, and some of it treacherous - ensure you don't leave anything fragile on the wooden benches, cos when you stand up they'll flip back and pitch it unceremoniously against the back wall only to slide down and crash on the tiled floor. The coffee was very good, though not great. Sub-60-degree temperature, with a slight heaviness on the extraction, but with a beautiful crema and well-developed flavours from the Square Mile beans. Distinctly short of The Bench at Present, across the street. The food offering looked simple but appealing - fresh salads and good pastries. I considered returning later for lunch, but decided against it, since I wouldn't want to sit on any of their seating to eat it.
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