June 24th, 2007

Star

Mess Cafe, Hackney E8

Mess Cafe, Hackney, London


This place got a positive write-up in the Guardian at one point, I recall, and it's not difficult to tell why. The newsagent next door stocks only this broadsheet amongst a full range of red-top tabloids, and inside Mess it's all left-leaning Grauniad-reading masses, and probably a fair number of journalists too for all I know, discussing Facebook and their hectic social schedules. People like me, I suppose, I should just face it.

Well, the place is nicely laid out and clean and at least we get a table this weekend (is everybody off in Somerset getting muddy?). Traditional choices, though the veggie breakfast on the menu lists roast peppers, so I have this replaced with baked beans, thx.

Ingredients are tasty, but for some reason this isn't the most superlative breakfast I've had. Perhaps it's my mood. But the baked beans just aren't quite right, a little bit sugary perhaps. The fried potatoes are a nice touch, crispy and lovely.

Sausage is soy-substitute variety but a good one (more Cauldron than Quorn in the supermarket veggie sausage-substitute stakes). A perfectly excellent fried egg, with the right amount of runniness. Plus the toast is a good consistency to mop up the juices, and there's a range of choices (white is standard).

The reasonable price includes an excellent coffee, and I think the value is possibly the best thing on the menu and I'd heartily recommend it, perhaps even one to come back to if you're in the area.

Address: 38 Amhurst Road (across from Hackney Central station and near the Pembury Tavern), Hackney, E8 1JN.