Evin Cafe Bar, Dalston
115 Kingsland High St
020 7254 5634
by Orva Easy
I wondered, and I wonder still, whether I had emerged into a Sliding Doors situation. On one side of the table, a splendid spread of fresh, carefully presented deliciousness; on the other, a listless, unsatisfying plate of less-than-inspired produce, ill-wrought into something resembling a breakfast, apart from the glaring absence of an egg.
"There it is!" the waitress exclaimed, pointing excitedly to where my hitherto truant egg was emerging from the kitchen, carried aloft on its own saucer. Compelled to enquire politely as to its whereabouts, I had become quite cross. Her childish joy at discovering the reluctant foodstuff, however, dented my ill will, and I returned to my breakfast uncomplaining. This despite the fact that the egg had apparently been cooked by someone who had never eaten one, the sausage was of indeterminate origin, though it might have served as an acceptable weapon and the bacon was more like biltong. The buttering of the toast can only be described as eccentric.
"There you go, and some halloumi for you to try," the waitress smiled indulgently at the visiting Icelanders, who peered in wonderment at this strange and new foodstuff. Unused as they are to exotic or indeed fresh food, rapture followed as they hoed their way through the Mediterranean breakfasts - the feta salty and creamy; the yoghurt (or YO-ghurt as they insist on calling it) perfectly paired with clear, runny honey; the hefty garlic sausage chargrilled to perfection and the halloumi (a revelation!) amusingly squeaky. The coffee was pronounced excellent, and since they have to stay awake through eternal night for half of the year they know something about it.
If you like a bit of the Med on your breakfast plate, this place is a winner. Otherwise, you'll have egg on your face. If you're lucky.