Café Lemon, Harringay
28 Grand Parade
020 8800 2396
by Morcilla Black
Ah, Green Lanes — the Med of the North, with its tantalising east-meets-west frisson of gilt, chrome, novelty fountains and “ram’s reproductive organ” openly available in its healthily competitive restaurants.
But what was this I could see? A surprisingly spacious - dare I say ‘modern’ - café. What’s more, it was in the heart of Green Lanes’ best foodie drag, the stretch calling itself Grand Parade, if you don’t mind.
Breakfast starts from just £3.30 (eggs and toast and I can’t remember what else), although the abstract-expressionist mural along one wall might put the tired and emotional off their prairie oyster, deflecting their eye instead towards the sepia archive prints of Ye Olde Harringay opposite.
While my dining companion plumped for a mushroom/egg/toast combo of her own devising, I opted for the more completist ‘Full Lemon’ which, for £4.20, contained no citrus fruits of any description, but did promise all you really need on the plate plus a tea or (instant) coffee. The bacon was crisp, cooked on both sides, with nary a trace of rind. The sausage was only so-so, but the beans were piping hot, the fresh vine tomato grilled to perfection and the toast served on a side plate, to do with as you would.
Best of all was the black pudding: thinnish, peppery slices of the larger, 5cm-ish diameter sort, satisfyingly seared on both sides, and mercifully free of white, gristly lumps of dubious provenance. This left me in sanguine spirits and I was mollified further still by the discreetly-volumed background warblings of Tarkan, the renowned Turkish/German singing sensation.
With more places like this, and a little self-delusion, perhaps Green Lanes might one day approach the self-consciously chi-chi ambience of nearby Crouch End. Although possibly not in our lifetimes.