The Cafe, Kilburn
316 Kilburn High Rd
by Scott Cheigg
Ah, Kilburn. Historical Irish enclave, largest Polish construction worker population in the country and locale of Ellie's greasy knife, fork and spoon cafe. From the garish, laminated stain-spattered menus to the labourers debating the finer machinations of Jose Mourinho's psyche-tactics in the corner table, each cafe cliché is intact. An order of two scrambled eggs, baked beans, chipped potatoes and three brown toast on the side poses no significant problems for either kitchen or sour-faced waitress; portions are large, eggs are scrambled so as to straddle the fine line between rubber and runny, and toast is crisp yet yielding, always warm, always buttered, never margarined.
My request for a cup of peppermint tea, however, results in the arrival of a steaming mug of English Breakfast. Illuminating the error serves only to afford my waitress a chance to point out that she is right and I wrong, though the fact that this has happened three times in three visits would suggest that either there is no peppermint tea to be had or they think me a scoundrel and do not wish my future custom.
Regardless, I return obediently, whenever the fancy takes me, which is often [again this very afternoon, in fact, when a can of Coca Cola was served in the can, with a straw], and can highly recommend it, unless you are used to dining at The Wolseley, in which case you will consider Ellie's nothing more than a culinary toilet, and I would consider you a snob.