Archive for the ‘London E8’ Category

Dalston Emporium, Kingsland High Road

August 13, 2012

First visited: Sunday 12th August 2012

Interior: Sometimes the biggest disappointments come when there’s a mismatch between the food and the decor. Dalston Emporium, one of a number of cafes which have sprung up to serve coffee to Dalston’s new young cool people and their hangovers, is lovely inside: wood, flyers, just enough natural light, sofas, yes, but tables too. The service wasn’t a match for it, alas, with items forgotten (and weirdly, accompanied by a ‘nobody told me you wanted the croissant, wasn’t my fault’ when it finally arrived) and nobody bothering to tell us that if we wanted dressing for our salad it was available next to the counter. And, gosh. It’s expensive.

Food: Although weekdays the Emporium proudly advertises full Englishes, on Sundays the only cooked breakfast they offer is scrambled eggs, with cheese or smoked salmon, on toast. For £4.50, you get exceedingly dry scrambled eggs (microwaved?) dusted with dry parmesan served on supermarket sliced brown, with a few lettuce leaves and cherry tomatoes and no dressing (see above). What makes this incomprehensible (apart from the price: remember juice and hot beverages are additional to this, as was 2 extra slices of buttered factory brown at a cost of £1.50) is that Dalston Emporium sell a number of quality food items: olive oil, bottled artichokes – and really good, decent bread. Good enough to sell to take home, but not to serve to customers. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was with this breakfast, in a way I wouldn’t have been if it had been featureless or filthy. And did I mention the price? Not recommended.


Cafe Evin, Kingsland High Street, Dalston

February 7, 2011

**UPDATE Sunday 5th August 2012**

Although this blog aims to highlight traditional caff fayre, I tend to order menemen, the scrumptious Turkish spicy scrambled egg dish for breakfast when I see it on a menu. Alas I cannot recommend that produced by Evin. I found it bland compared to that in Bar Ish or Cafe Z and was disappointed not to get any cucumber, cheese or olives with it. My companion was more disappointed than I was and suspected the tomatoes came from a tin. Far from inedible and a nice enough place, but not one to go to for eggy delights. And they did that lukewarm water / teabag on a saucer thing.


Visited Sunday 6th February 2011

I’ve often passed Evin on my way  to ‘somewhere which means I can’t stop for coffee’. Its promising exterior is matched by a very pleasant interior. The front area feels a bit like a european coffee house with a cabinet of cakes, armchairs and coffee tables. The back is a cut-out-and-keep Stokey Turkish restaurant – wooden tables, wooden floors, plants – and none the worse for that.

Sadly, I didn’t get to eat in Evin and it wasn’t my fault. When I came in at 4.45 on a Sunday, I was handed a dinner menu. This was odd because I was flanked by people eating breakfasts and almost everyone else was just on the tea or coffee. I tried to ask whether they were doing toast but the waitress’s English wasn’t up to it. The menu had the standard hummous, helim, and turkish main courses, but didn’t list cafe type food. It didn’t even mention the cakes. So I just had a mug of tea which I had to assemble myself from hot water, a teabag on a saucer and a jug of milk. Worse, the mug was a very annoying Illy coffee mug with a handle too small to pick up without burning yourself. The tea was nice, but then I made it, so it should have been.

Evin’s next door neighbour seems to have a more cafe-type approach, so perhaps that’s where I’ll satisfy my toast-cravings next time.