Café RED, Kentish Town
298 Kentish Town Road
020 7482 7300
by Poppy Tartt
Jordan picked the restaurant. He said the name held a special significance for him. That was before we knew about the acronym. RED actually stands for ‘Really Excellent Dining’. I don’t think Jordan knows much about Really Excellent Dining. All I’ve ever seen him eat was a little piece of ham.
Jordan Catalano sailed to me on a dreamboat from a psychic fantasia. I’ve been in love with him since I was fourteen. So here he is, defying the real, even the fact that his body belongs to a vegan film star who wears eyeliner. He’s so beautiful I could yelp. Thank you, world, for cracking my dream and bringing me this quivering yolk of a man!
He’s unable to read the menu of course, so I order him a Red breakfast. It seems almost wrong to eat. I’m having Eggs Benedict – though I’m not sure there’s a place for eggs in the psychic fantasia. It’s hard to feel dreamy when there are eggs around. I don’t know if I want to see Jordan Catalano eat blood pudding.
We are served by a jovial spiller. The breakfast is good enough to eat. Only the eggs are perfect though, pert whites holding trembling yellows like breath in a cheek. They are ruined by the vinegary hollandaise, a graze on my tongue, which recalls to me fantasy’s unhappy aftertaste. As we leave, Jordan breaks into song. “I was going nowhere, going nowhere fast, drowning in my memories, living in the past. Everything looked black until I found her – she’s all I need, that’s what I said. Oh oh oh – I call her RED. She’s my shelter from the storm, she’s a place to rest my head; late at night she keeps me safe and warm. I call her RED.” In truth, reality eats dreams.