The Waiting Rooms, Palmers Green
Palmers Green Station
020 8886 7781
by Poppy Tartt
The Waiting Rooms café bar is ever so slightly cool. This fact is ever so slightly baffling, given its location - but maybe the grittier side of surburbia is only too apt a backdrop for this curiosity, a café bar attached to a railway station offering live music by night and fried breakfasts by morning.
On this particular morning, the breakfast was some time in coming, rather more time than might be strictly desirable, but I think there may have been only two stressed but admirably cheerful ladies behind both the cooking and serving, so they may be forgiven. My companion and I opted for the Big Breakfast - eggs, sausage, bacon, beans, two hash browns, and toast, though I forwent the beans. To my mind the egg is the most vulnerable and most important member of the breakfast platter, whose purity must be protected at any price by an army of meats and breads; the egg must never - but never - come into contact with tomato.
These eggs came scrambled (I had forgotten to ask for fried), the sausage short, fragrant, and remarkably dense. My companion had assured me that on a previous occasion he had been indulged with a sausage of at least twice its length, which left our expectations a little dashed, but the sausage, in its own right, was a success, perhaps because its previous length had been crammed into its breadth. The eggs, too, were surprisingly good, buoyant but not squeaky, with absolutely no liquid surplus; the bacon golden pink and the hash browns golden brown. The only disappointment was a late side order of grilled halloumi that never arrived, but in the end, all things considered, and eaten, it was probably for the best.