My Tea Shop, London Bridge
23 Duke Street Hill
020 7407 1110
by Muffin Gaye
I’ve always believed that honesty is a symptom of confidence, and everything about My Tea Shop screams out like Cherie Blair: “I’ve got nothing to hide!”. Anywhere that serves OJ (no ice) straight out of a Sainsbury’s container in front of you deserves respect for its blatant lack of pretence. Through the open counter you can see a kitchen that looks like the backroom of a car park ticket booth, replete with crude steel benchtops and even cruder white cutting boards and even cruderererer other stuff. The friendly staff do nothing to cover this up. It’s hard to be dissatisfied with imperfection when it’s friendly.
Likewise, their counter menu, printed straight off the Excel preview screen, was informative and easy on the eyes of someone conditioned to Microsoft Office. It’s almost as if they’ve tapped into that part of the human mind that’s evolved to feel comfortable with 2 columns written in Times New Roman. Sitting down, I look outside to see a range of hyperaesthetic advertisements pass by on buses and T-Shirts, and wonder where we all went wrong with all the fancy lines and colours and so forth. My Tea Shop is more than a restaurant. It’s a deprogramming environment.
Within 5 minutes of ordering, 2 plates of chips, tomato (4 halves!), bacon, and egg steam forth onto the table. The bacon is crisp, the egg not too runny and not too hard, the chips fluffy and the tomato bountiful. It’s a manifestation of the kind of simple fantasy that occupies the mind when one is fantasising about something that is actually possible. That this reality cost 8 pounds for 2 people makes the Playstation 3 seem even more overpriced.
You can realise your dreams at My Tea Shop, just not ones that involve spinach. But they’ve all been put there by celebrity chefs and doctors you don’t trust anyway.