Climpson & Sons, Hackney
67 Broadway Market
020 7812 9829
by Moose Lee
The tyranny of choice: Saturday morning on Broadway Market offers a vertiginous selection of gourmand-baiting breakfast options. Luckily, M and I had already picked our destination: Climpson & Sons – one of the few unreviewed cafes on this strip of bourgeois indulgence. To get to the café, however, we had to resist a myriad of siren-strength temptation. Donning blindfolds and bunging our nostrils, we crept past gallettes, hog roasts and patisseries. Navigating by texture and sound alone, we followed the espresso machine's wail until our hands met with sanded wood.
Climpson's has a relaxed, beach-hut feel, with tables lining the pavement. The breakfast menu is not going to slay any hangovers but it is great for those self-righteous mornings when you get up early with almost no unexplained bruises. On the manager's recommendation, I went for the spicy breakfast beans with mint and lemon: black eye, kidney and butter beans mixed in herby tomato sauce on an enormous slice of toast, plus a refreshing splodge of crème fraiche. It was very good.
We were a little miffed to see that M's mackerel did not come whole: it had been torn into pieces for convenience. Thankfully, I can confirm that, even in bits, the fish tasted fantastic and was very well matched by mild horseradish and crunchy granary toast. With more than a hint of food-envy, I employed my lupine scavenging skills. On an unrelated note, M's only complaint was that her portion was too small.
Afterwards, we sat reading the paper and drinking cucumber-laden tap water for close to an hour without ordering anything. Eventually, we were asked whether we would like something more. I said: "No thanks, we're fine." The manager managed to hide his contempt admirably and for that, and other achievements, I applaud him.