Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Review - Fika

This blog will be on the topic of quick fixes. In the same way that being a grown up means you can go to the supermarket and buy whatever the fuck you want but don't because in the cold light of adulthood buying only Viennese whirls and potato waffles doesn't seem so appealing, so it becomes clear that there are lots of things that will make you feel better quickly but there's a value in trying for the longer term inner peace hippie shit fix. A lot of the time (say 40%) that feels so boring to have to train yourself and it sounds like the mantra of a cult you don't really believe in. But if most of us didn't believe in long term gain we probably would have sacked in the highly pressured/high risk/thankless/corporate/terribly paid (delete as appropriate) jobs long ago. Anyway, in the words of Headspace guy - it's not about the result. It's about the JOURNEY. And meanwhile, if there's a risk of giving up for the short term fix when you're sad and floopy on Saturday morning, you can go to an overpriced Swedish cafe for brunch. 

Fika has joined Vinarius as the last definitive signs that Bow is no longer grime capital of the world. It's a sparse, Nordic cafe without a proper kitchen serving beautiful coffee  and cold breakfast treats. I started on a cinnamon bun which was moreish and filling and pretty good value. I then moved onto the frittata which was none of those things. But, I'd still recommend on the basis of the coffee and the calm and the therapeutic colouring pens.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Review - Wild Caper

As I am too stubborn to move anywhere even remotely inconvenient but everyone else has migrated for the South like a bird or something, it is necessary to cluster engagements to days that I'm not tired and can handle the tube etc. Sunday was one of those days and it was brunch time where we had agreed to go somewhere that didn't make me hate it / me for being me (i.e. probably gentrified but not so much so that it's too much). But the place we met at was all exposed brick and distressed wood and served only blueberry and bacon. It all had a bit of a let it Happn vibe to it, which, now I remember is probably because it was known to me through a friend who's a semi-prolific online dater. An alternative suggestion was Duck Egg Cafe which I've enjoyed before but maybe we didn't want eggs enough because it was proving as elusive as the room of requirement and we ended up walking up and down the same stretch of Coldharbour Lane as if it was some weird version of Groundhog Day where we were brunch addicted loons desperately seeking sourdough. So we thought to walk into the market and sadly Salon was fully booked so we ended up in Wild Caper. (Great name and great word.) I thought the meze could work and had my eyes set on the cous cous salad. I felt  deflated as I was told they weren't doing that menu and immediately wary like their jack of all trades, master of none vibe with menu swinging between brunch and meze. 

Anyway, I ended up with waffles with maple syrup and bacon. They were fine but it felt like I'd been to this very place and eaten this exact meal hundreds of time before. I know it's hardly One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovitch and complaining that the yuppie brunches have become too homogenised is a champagne problem of the first degree. But seriously, if you're going to be a food place in London TRY A BIT HARDER. The waffles were crisp and both literally and figuratively vanilla, the bacon crispy, the sausage split in the middle in seemingly the exact same spot as every other Old Spot Gloucester sausage I've had. It was fine, probably even good. But if you're already supplied in Mediterranean ingredients, maybe offer something a bit different to everywhere else doing brunch in Brixton market. Or at the very least, don't say something comes on sourdough when it doesn't - JUST CALL IT BREAD. 

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Review - Lahore Kebab House

A few weeks ago, when I was having the worst morning of my adult life, I read this: 

I started doing a blog in the style of the above but ended up finding it too depressing so stopped. But now that the Explorer has gone and the dust has settled, I will do my homage now in the form of 'thoughts I've had that I would previously send as texts but now I am not licensed to make people listen to your boring thoughts except via a very public online forum'

- I had no concept of how much the Explorer cooked and as someone who's been eating primarily other peoples' cigarettes and junk food, I can attest to the fact that there is a world of health that's as good as skinny feels 

- I love Christmas house on the corner

- Podcasts and The Economist in audio are a fine substitution for conversation in the morning but I feel unsettled when  I think that the first person I've spoken to most mornings this week has been a Swiss partner who wants a comic strip made 

- My friends are, without exception, crazy, but one day they will own this place so let's hope they are merciful 

- Fried chicken is delicious but not enough reason to back pedal 

- Laser eye surgery is still by many yards the best thing I've ever done

- A Little Life is the worst book I've ever read 

- I should stop describing things as the 'worst' or the 'best' so often 

- What will we all do when no one can afford to live in London anymore?

- This is probably the hardest I've tried at anything before which is a good thing I guess, but I need to retain a concept of balance 

- There is a very thin line between repulsive and super hot and what a shame that 80% of people are on the wrong side of that 

- Having two wardrobes is categorically, unequivocally worth it

- Maintaining that this is a food blog is a conceit but actually what I'm eating and why is a very accurate representation of what the deal is


The first supper after the split took place at Lahore Kebab House. I won't over egg this point but in summary: get lamb not chicken, the paratha is disappointing, Tayyab's is better both for curry and on atmosphere which is surprising given how lacking both are in atmosphere, it is very cheap.