Nico's Restaurant, Bethnal Green
299 Cambridge Heath Rd
020 7739 8832
by Blake Pudding
I woke up with the word "leadership" on my lips. Perhaps it was to do with the meandering my life had taken of late or perhaps it is something to do with the Duke of Wellington, whose boots are never far from my feet. I had been at a fashion party the night before trying to think of the Estonian for "does your father know you're here?" I roused my brother Thomas and suggested a trip to Nico's.
First impressions were good. There were big sheets of bright cardboard cut into Batman-esque "ker-powww" shapes but with "Sausage, egg and chips £3.49" or "Steak pie, chips and beans £4.49" instead. There was a bald cockney behind the counter- he didn't have a badge on saying Nico because there was no need - this was clearly Nico and he was clearly in charge. From that moment on I knew we were in safe hands.
I went off-piste with the fried eggs, bubble, bacon, tomatoes, tea and toast. I forget what Thomas had. Wellington said that an army marches on its stomach but I doubt anyone could march after this amount. There was a mountain of delicious bubble under which I kept on finding more and more rashers of bacon. There were two eggs and no less than 3 big tomatoes grilled to a sweet gooey consistency. The tea came from a pot and the bread was crusty.
After finishing I smiled at Thomas much as Wellington must have smiled at Blucher after Waterloo, a smile that spoke of a job well done. Then a set breakfast of leviathan-like proportions came past and I realised how paltry our victory had been. Meanwhile as Nico was marshalling his forces in the kitchen, it dawned on me that the only losers here were lovers of uncluttered miltary metaphors.