Corner Deli, Hackney
121 - 123 Mare St
020 8986 9325
by Blake Pudding
“Ahh the present continuous, most annoying of all newly fashionable tenses,” I mused at notorious East London charlatan Samuel J. Fouracre whilst we awaited our breakfast. At the Corner Deli they do not merely use organic produce but, according to their menu, are using it the whole time. It is as if they are saying “oh look at me using organic produce, how big’s your carbon footprint, mine’s tiny.” It reminds me of those people who say that they are loving your shoes. It is more about their loving than your shoes. It smacks of self-importance.
I knew we had made a mistake when I saw that the window was crammed with dull packets trumpeting their organic origin. My full breakfast, when it finally arrived, was not impressive: a tomato warmed rather than grilled; two eggs, cooked on the bottom, not on the top, two slices of toast made from cardboard bread, one tiny piece of not very tasty bacon and one small sausage that tasted of rancid leeks and repeated on me all day. There were mushrooms too. Sam went off-piste with poached eggs and two of those loathsome sausages. Was this stuff organic? I don’t care. Was it expensive? Of course. Was it delicious? No, it was fucking awful. This place is a classic example of the cynical café, run with no sense of largesse or hospitality, hiding its dreadfulness behind an organic fig leaf. We were not loving this place.