228 St Pauls Road
by Dr Sigmund Fried
Dreadlocks, vegans, trustafarians, people who play the bongos in parks, trance, didgeridoos, scented candles, dreamcatchers, capoeira, juggling, Leo Hickman, headscarves, yoga and the piety - oh sweet Bachus, the piety. These are just some of the terrible things that ran through my still wet brain on entering Kika, based on the décor (like a particularly vivid Howard Hodgkin), the music (Zero 7/Lamb/Morcheebaaaarrggghhh) and the furniture (Elvis in Hawaii). It's fair to say I was in a mildly misanthropic mood.
I gingerly opened a menu. Great, they do a cooked breakfast. But what's this in the small print? Vogel bread? Organic, homemade baked beans? It's healthy! Nnnoooooooooooo!!! Why, for the love of Agamemnon, I thought, would anyone do this, when it contradicts everything us Brits have ever believed in? It's perverse!!
15 minutes later I had my answer - that is to say I'd eaten my answer and loved it. While the bread and beans were perfectly pleasant, it was the regulars (sausage, bacon, egg) that made it so good, being of a high (organic) quality not normally found in a £5 breakfast. A distinct lack of grease, it turns out, is actually a good thing for the fragile constitution. Weird.
Taking in my surroundings again, this time with a feeling of wellbeing and contentment, I couldn't help notice how lovely the bright, vivid paint work was, how quaint the wonky wooden furniture was, how the soothing jazz cigarette music calmed one's spirit, and how lavishly fecund the garden at the back was.
In fact, the only twist too far, even with my new-found cynic-free disposition, was the red bush tea that came instead of the builders that I so craved. Healthy or not, red bush tea tastes like feet. Oh, and public bongo players can still f*** right off as well.