Although, like every other meal, I adore breakfast, is it just me who finds the average ‘full English’ fry-up completely indigestible? Bacon is always a good thing, eggs are handy, but the whole extravaganza on one plate – tinned mushrooms, half a tomato (usually pallid & the texture of stone), oily sausages & fried bread… the slowly spreading puddle of fat it sits in… it’s just not appealing first thing in the morning. It’s even worse in the average bed & breakfast, where you get all of the above, plus clown ornaments, awkward morning chit-chat & surprise extras, like a single cat hair across the cut half of your grapefruit.
For this reason, I don’t much bother with going out for breakfast in London. And I’d certainly never given the Dalston Lane Café a second (or first) glance when I’d walked past it a hundred times on my way to Ridley Road market. Until I read about it at the dedicated breakfast site, London Review of Breakfasts. Their review wasn’t glowing, but I had a closer look at the menu the next time I passed, & noticed they served French toast with bacon & maple syrup. I was so there.
The French toast was, as hoped, divine. Crusty white bread bursting with egg, smoky bacon & a little jug of genuine maple syrup. Service is prompt, considering the crowds of hungover Shoreditch clubbers straining to read the menu through their sunglasses. We left light & cheerful, already talking about dinner, which made a pleasant change from the usual post-full-English torpor. Behind the unpromising facade lurks a gem of a caff. Bright, light, clean. Wi-fi, homemade cakes, & newspapers. And not a cat hair in sight.
170c Dalston Lane, Hackney, E8 1NG
Tel: 020 7254 4704