Clicia, Stoke Newington
97 Stoke Newington Church Street
020 7254 1025
by Molly Coddle-Degg
When I taught English in Paris, I once prepared a lesson extolling the joys of the Full English Breakfast. This basically involved handing out photocopies of an A4 sheet on which I’d hastily scribbled the usual fried suspects (the egg, it should be noted, was easy to sketch – but have you ever tried drawing a realistic hash brown?). Strangely, the notion of such delights failed to set my pupils’ stomachs rumbling. Instead, I was faced with a bevy of French children making retching noises and professing that they felt ‘malade’. Petits boéciens! A croissant is all very well and good, but it’s a mere snack. What the belly wants in the morning is grease, and plenty of it.
Clicia, in typical Stoke Newington Church Street style, seemed in danger of being a bit too gastro to be sufficiently greasy, but my co-breakfasteers had fallen for the bejewelled, multi-coloured lantern-filled decor, and I was out-voted. Happily, the fry-up included a hash brown, but I know better than to order mushrooms and beans in N16. Still, this meant that the large rectangular plate here appeared gargantuan and my meal irritatingly meagre; especially as the egg had been neatly fried within the constraints of a small circular mould.
In fact it was the perfect amount of cooked breakfast, and I was left just shy of full, with convenient room to fill up my tummy with Clicia’s magic ingredient – its amazingly fresh, sweet, crusty and hot Turkish bread. It may not be the most suitable substance to soak up egg yolk, or balance (quite juicy) bacon on, but this bread is too good to be corrupted by extra flavours. No, this was pure grease-free bready bliss, of a sort that even gastro-snobby froggies would appreciate.