The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mike's Cafe, Notting Hill

Mike's Cafe
12 Blenheim Crescent
Notting Hill
W11 1NN
020 7229 3757

by Cathy Latte

Breakfasts in my grubby Stockport flat were never destined for greatness. But they were made all the more cheery by visits from Karen, my unofficial housemate at the time. Of a weekend we’d unsuccessfully try to quell the reek of rising mercury and the sound of sobbing kids wafting up from the dentist’s below with our enthusiastic porcine creations.

Eight years on, having long since left Stockport, Karen and I found ourselves in Mike’s Café. Established in 1962 it’s an honest little place with an unpretentious air, a welcome change from the soulless West London nonsense on offer nearby. Daft paintings dangle haphazardly against incongruous yellow walls; snuggly little booths and inviting tables fill the waiting floor.

‘Good quality food is delivered to your table in a quick and friendly manner’ says the menu – but they needn’t have been so modest. Our ‘Breakfast Specials‘ were made with confidence and gusto. Our eggs were blessed with a yolky-dokey divinity, the bacon with textural perfection, the fresh-from-the-market tomatoes burst juicily and the newly freed beans spilled over our plates unreservedly. If there were to be a smudge on an otherwise brilliantly white tablecloth then I’d have to point my finger at the sausage. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t the hearty herby offer I’d have hoped for, though this is probably why they can pull off an otherwise marvellous Special for £5.50.

Still, we loved it. We lolled in our seats guzzling wine (yes they sell booze with breakfasts all day long) laughing about bygone Stockport days. We smiled at the waiters zipping by and they smiled back, and we didn’t mind the little wait for our bill when after 2 hours we’d had our fill because well, we didn’t really want to leave.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Knox & Clay said...

On the strength of your review, we had breakfast at Mike’s this morning. We were two New Yorkers looking for a traditional English breakfast and were very satisfied. Nothing fancy, just a very well executed breakfast. The breakdown:

Egg: cooked perfectly
Tomatoes: 3 good, fresh halves, lightly frosted with roasty goodness, but with the cores left in.
Bacon: well cooked, but a little salty. In combination with some tomato, very nice.
Sausage: nothing special, and I prefer mine with some well-done spots from frying.
Toast: Nothing special--just good toast.
Tea: a good cup, though it came with milk by default, so if you take yours another way (not that you would), be sure to make your wishes known in advance.
Juice: here, I have to give Mike’s extra credit. In most places, when you order a juice, you get a small glass, filled to the rim with ice, and only a splash of juice. But not at Mike’s—here, you get a big (12 oz.+) glass with just enough ice to keep the juice cool. Just right!

And the service was very nice and incredibly fast--we had our plates within five minutes of walking in the place.

6:31 PM, July 29, 2006  
Anonymous Swinehead said...

There is a fantastic breakfast joint in Nepal famous througout all of Kathmandu called appropriately enough - Mike's Place. Or maybe, Mike's Cafe. Still, it's the bomb if you want a proper, full-on breakfast of the highest order, quality and quantity. They even have their own cookbook.

11:58 AM, March 26, 2008  
Blogger data overload said...

would largely agree with other comments, although our eggs benedict seemed to be made with hollandaise out of a jar, which spoilt an otherwise ok dish. Service was amiable if a little slow due to lack of staff.

9:30 PM, May 07, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to be honest i havnt tried the breakfast, but i have tried the bugers which are amazing! they are so big that not even sharring one between two can we finish it. the buger also lies on a bed of fresh salad and twice fried chips which without the name dont have a bit of grease on them. and all for around £5. by far the best quality for money. would definalty be spreading the word.

1:01 PM, August 26, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Service: Not nice.
We have been thrown out because we didn`t order food. Although my friend wanted something to eat, but they ran out of it. We still didn`t count as full customers!

7:04 PM, December 04, 2011  

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