The High Parade
Streatham High Road
020 8677 2277
by Rhys Chris Peese
It may seem cavalier, on a website devoted to breakfasts, to reveal that I really don’t like eggs. Fried? No. Poached? Yuk. Boiled? Gah. In a bid to retain my reviewer’s credentials I’ll admit that scrambled can be palatable, especially with a bit of grated cheese and parsley. But that’s not good enough for Purple, tucked away on its sunless stretch of Streatham High Road. Instead, there’s a section on the menu entitled ‘Eggs Mania’, as if the liking of eggs were some kind of mental debility, available in varieties such as Benedict, or Florentine. However, they happily let me substitute peppers and asparagus from the vegetarian breakfast for the eggs on the full English, bringing joy to my heart, and less cholesterol to my arteries.
Mushrooms were the breakfast’s highlight; perfectly cooked with a rich flavour, and the sausage likewise. The grilled bacon was reasonable, although a second slice might have been nice, even for a £4.50 breakfast that included a small cup of thin coffee. The beans were hot, unlike the undercooked asparagus or the miserly quarter-tomato that had barely seen the grill.
My flatmate found herself at the sharp end of Purple’s frugality, though, when she ordered the Continental Breakfast. For £4.00 you get tea and fruit juice, but the accompanying croissant was small, burnt on the bottom, powdered mysteriously with icing sugar, ‘didn’t taste like a croissant’, and was served with margarine rather than butter: each of these an egregious offence to the French pastry.
Purple veers erratically between delightful success and awkward failure. It has aspirations beyond that of a greasy spoon, yet our wooden table was disconcertingly sticky. It has a friendly atmosphere, despite the jaunty, eponymous, colour scheme, punctuated with rubbish artworks. It’s this very inconsistency that keeps us going back, and half regretting it when we do.