The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Uplands Cafe, East Dulwich

The Uplands Cafe
21 Upland Road
East Dulwich
020 8693 3948

by Tina Beans

There is nothing quite like being caught in the crossfire of a bar brawl to make a girl need a hearty breakfast. After all, it’s not every Friday night that two grown men decide to fall on your head mid-fight. Waking up a bit dazed, I made my way to the Upland Cafe in an attempt to cleanse my soul and fill my belly. This cafe has had a revamp in recent times and it would be hard to describe here the full oddity of the previous establishment, then called Café Ideal. I’m no psychic, but the vibes were definitely all wrong.

It is now a bright and airy place, with very friendly and welcoming staff. A nice man took our order using an impressive breakfast shorthand – BWD anyone? I could feel my strength slowly returning as we sat down to wait.

Already encouraged by the quality of the condiments (they were Heinz and HP), I was happy to receive buttery fresh mushrooms and a perfectly cooked egg. The bacon was crispy as requested, the pieces generous. But what made this breakfast great was the sausage, my favourite breakfast ingredient. Well cooked, this banger was herby – but not in a poncey way. Which sums it up, really – if you’re sick of dressed up, bourgeois breakfasts that don’t deliver then you will like this place. You won’t find herbs in your scrambled eggs, but you will find all the expected cooked well. Oh, and if you really are too battered from the night before, they do anything you like to take away.

Finally, seeing the aforementioned nice man hand out free lollypops to all the kids in the cafe restored my faith in human kindness after the previous night’s unnecessary violence. And what more could you want from a breakfast outing than that?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ahh the uplands, many a marmite on crusty toast have i eaten from there - the decor lets it down though you should try the blue brick down northcross rd on the road by willow its a gem.

9:27 AM, November 27, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if this is still called The Uplands Cafe (no sign on the door) but it is without a doubt one of the best greasy spoons I have tried in my entire life. The place is clean, the staff courteous and quick and the food is cheap, abundant and well above average. All the classics are well done (nice bubble fried on bacon fat, good sausages, etc etc) and they have a couple of specials including a Greek style lamb on the bone which is just amazing: tender, tasty and generous. At 6.50 is more expensive than anything else on the menu, but go down the road to Lordship Lane and you would struggle to find something of this quality under a tenner...
Don't get me wrong: it is just a caff, but sometimes is hard to find a cheap cafe in London where you feel that the people in charge actually care...

PS: That Bluebrick Cafe down teh road stills exists but is now a vegetarian place, a bit more pricey but not bad either.

3:33 PM, November 08, 2013  

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