Dem Cafe Bar, Stoke Newington
18 Stoke Newington High St
020 7254 6364
by Duke Eggington
You know what it’s like when you arrive in a small town early in the morning half asleep at the wheel. Your eyes are stinging and your stomach feels like an acid pit. Such is the mood as I wander into DEM on a Saturday morning.
After a cup of the finest Illy coffee for me, and a juice with a pink straw to match my baby’s dress for her, I order a DEM veggie breakfast – an English-Kurdish fusion. Predictably the hash brown and veggie sausage are nothing to sing and dance about, and the grilled halloumi and chilli olives aren’t to everyone’s taste - but there’s something appealing about a good dose of salt first thing in the morning. The inclusion of cold salad items like cucumber and tomato could also have some folk heading straight back out the door, but removal of surface skin in both cases kept us happy.
The baked beans on toast for my baby is nothing special, but when you’re feeding a two-year-old it’s best to keep things simple. The bread is a mixed experience: while of the authentic Turkish variety, it is also somewhere between bread and toast, neither nice and soft or entirely crispy.
In fact, the best thing about the breakfast has to be the waitress - a Middle Eastern beauty who either of us would gladly taken home, either for her generous smiles, or her free-flowing lollipops. By the time we leave we are both sewn up, but not stitched up. If we’d turned the corner onto Stoke Newington Church Street we would have had similar food at roughly double the price.
I urge you to check Dem out.