The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Friday, March 10, 2006

Paradise Cafe, Kensal Rise

Paradise Cafe (aka Nonna's)
271 Kensal Rd
Kensal Rise
W10 5DB

by Juan Sugar

The Monday morning fry-up is a different beast to your weekend sojourn. The weekend breakfast should be characterised by a good-natured bonhomie and tales of the previous night's mishaps. The Monday equivalent is, however, a more reflective (one may even say spiritual) affair. Best taken on one’s own, it should be used to mentally prepare oneself for the onslaught of the oncoming week. If taken during company time then it also becomes an act of rebellion – a greasy two fingered salute to the working week.

It had been a boozy weekend. My encounter with a box of fried chicken late Sunday evening should really have sated my desire for fried goodness, yet by the time I entered Nonnas I needed what they had, badly. Despite the bustle I managed to find a table on my lonesome. The greasy condensation that had formed on the window was a welcome barrier between myself and the hustle of the working week outside.

When my Full English arrived, I wasn’t disappointed. The sausage was a fiery little number, the tomatoes had that perfect soft-top wobble and the mushrooms were as tender and juicy as they had been in my dreams. The chips were thick cut and crunchy, the bacon moist and sweet and the beans piping hot and with a good sauce. It came with two slices of toast and a steaming mug of tea, all for £4.50. The café started to clear. A quiet calm descended, broken only by the contented scrapes of cutlery against porcelain.

When I left I had the kind of glow that is rare for a Monday which goes to show that while fry-ups may be bad for your health, on Monday mornings they are good for your well-being.


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