The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Hackney City Farm, Hackney

Hackney City Farm (Frizzante Cafe)
1a Goldsmith's Row
E2 8QA
020 7729 6381

by Dr Sigmund Fried

After succesfully negotiating our way through the jazz dad-with-pram/bicycle-infested assault course that is London Fields, our afternoon breakfasting party finally made it to its destination. "Do you like farm animals? They let you choose your own pig and then kill it and cook it right in front of you," was how one mendacious and pork-obsessed friend tried to sell the idea of brekking at Hackney City Farm. But he needn't have gone to the trouble of trying to lure me in with such Fearnley Whittingstall-esque dreams. He already had me at "farm animals".

Once in, any fears about whether it would be overrun with 30-something men drinking lattés and discussing the relative merits of Wynton Marsalis were soon allayed: it was actually pleasingly unpretentious with friendly staff and an interior that I can only describe as 'scout hut chic'.

After finding a table in a lovely heated and covered outdoors bit with sawdust on the floor, we ordered at the counter. Having all of us built up a no-breakfast/beer-on-an-empty-stomach appetite, none of us were ever going to go off-piste, menu-wise: too risky. No, all we wanted was a traditional, honest and well cooked fried breakfast, and that indeed is what we got: not by any means gourmet, but certainly a cut above your average greasy spooner, and reasonably priced at £5.50.

Add to that a quaint farmyard (which we spent a good twenty minutes wandering around) at the back of the building with, among other things, pigs (massive), rabbits (furry) and geese (kept my distance), I'm pretty sure a better way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon in Hackney is hard to find.


Blogger Chubby Bat said...

Came across this blog (from linkmachinego) just 5 minutes after stubmling across this Flickr group - a match made in heaven, surely!

8:43 AM, December 08, 2005  
Anonymous Herby Banger said...

A visual documentation of the Greasy Spoon? Lets hope they have not foreseen the unthinkable, the extinction of the English Cafe.

Thanks for the link. More investigation is needed.

11:13 AM, December 08, 2005  
Anonymous Will Davies said...

I went there in summer, and it wasn't the dad's that were the problem, it was their screaming progeny. By the end i was in the mood for a toddler butty.

7:33 PM, December 20, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've stopped going here for food - I love the atmosphere and the food isnt' bad but the service is always so ungracious and unfriendly that it turns the food sour in my mouth.

11:38 AM, September 30, 2007  
Blogger Aneggela said...

Went here yesterday. Waited ages to sit outside. Kept getting hit on the head by a piece of wood attached to some plastic everytime there was a breeze. I told the waiter and manager who didn't even pretend to care and were just generally rude. Food was over priced and mediocre. Not going again.

1:46 PM, August 24, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

despite the lovely location and a nice variety of people, the food was less than average (different to what was on menu, hair in pastry etc etc) the queue huge and an extraordinarily rude waiter who actually told a friend to "twat- off" after complaining about his "whatever" attitude". The managerial staff were unhelpful and placid.

All in all a terrible experience. If you want good food/ nice staff there are plenty other places to visit in the area!

2:21 PM, August 24, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the comments about the unpleasant managerial and staff attitude at this cafe. It's quite contemptuous! The last time we went to have lunch there, we experienced a very unfriendly and abrupt service from a member of staff. The food wasn't really anything to write home about either.

4:47 PM, September 13, 2009  
Anonymous Tiffany said...

We will never set foot in this establishment ever again!!

As long term Hackney residents, we have known the previous tenants of this cafe and it's recent reincarnation is a total disgrace.

The food is overpriced and underwhelming. The staff are some of the rudest and ungracious people that have ever served me in a Hackney cafe.

Tiffany Pipp

4:02 PM, October 06, 2009  
Anonymous Abby said...

The Hackney City Farm cafe is now called something Italian. The cooked breakfast is tasty, although barely big enough - the sausage was minute. My friend couldn't finish her scrambled eggs - easily the biggest portion we've ever seen. The service was pretty unfriendly though, and the price for my breakfast was an unsatisfactory £9, which included an extra quid for wheat-free bread. We had just finished eating when all hell broke loose. I think it was the 11 o'clock club, if they still have those these days. I doubt I'll go back unless I'm breakfasting with a friend with kids.

8:46 AM, January 24, 2014  
Blogger Rowena Macdonald said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:53 AM, May 12, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to reiterate what Abby above said - I went in there recently (in February 2014) and I got a sausage smaller than Max Clifford's penis. This was for a £9 breakfast. It used to be much better value before it turned Italian. The whole place looks pretty rough around the edges. I'm not eating there again.

10:55 AM, May 12, 2014  

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