Abigails Kitchen, Greville St, EC1

Visited Thursday 2nd October, 2008

Interior: My guess is that Abigail’s been done up fairly recently. Such coffee shop features as red walls, plants and wooden tables and chairs have been superimposed over an underlying structure of the classic counter-ordering sandwich bar. One problem with the hybrid is that Abigail’s breaks cafe-ordering etiquette. There is no menu above the counter as you enter the caff, instead there are menus on the table. But no waiting staff will take your order from the table, so you order at the counter, having grabbed your table and consulted the menu. If you want hot food, counter staff will direct you to another counter, which is where all the hot food is displayed. You queue again to pay at the end. There are no signs to advise the uninitiated of these rules.

Food: I had a very plain penne with roasted veg. The sauce, if such it can be described, was meagre, but the pasta very impressively not overcooked, in fact the most al dente of any re-heated pasta I’ve had in a caff. Tea was in a charming floral small mug, of the sort you might get in the only caff in a provincial town (you know, the sort of place where they’d give you a plate if you asked for a chocolate biscuit with your tea) – a really endearing touch.

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