Relish, Newington Green
44-45 Newington Green Road
020 7354 4377
by Megan Bacon
Second only to the expensive, but well-loved French patisserie Belle Epoque, Relish is fast becoming Newington Green’s go-to place for middle-class mothers who wish they lived in Notting Hill. As we perused the café’s short-but-sweet menus, there was one such person at the next table, struggling with an impudent child who was demanding a babycino (a cappuccino sans coffee). Indeed, Relish is so yummy-mummy-friendly, that babycinos are on the house.
It’s rather a pretentious sort of place – it purports to be a deli and a bar as well as a café, and its airy, contemporary interior is more typical of Upper Street, only with more Ikea furniture and less customers. I’ve yet to see how the place qualifies as a bar, but the “deli” side is well-catered with an array of posh food to take away, from fresh pasta to lovely-looking hams. Back in 2005, I had chips thrown in my face in Newington Green; fast-forward a few years, and I can bankrupt myself on parma ham – praise be!
Feeling adventurous, we plumped for the regal-sounding Eggs Royale, which are like Eggs Benedict, but with smoked salmon instead of ham. Our cappuccinos – or adultcinos, should I say – were excellent, light and frothy, but sadly not on the house. The food, however, took almost half an hour to arrive, despite the place being virtually empty during our visit. Luckily, when it arrived, it was delectable: two perfect little pods of poached egg, delicately balanced on tiny little toasted buns and a generous layer of salmon, topped off with a zesty Hollandaise sauce.
But while the meal made me want to rush out and buy a jar of Hollandaise sauce, Relish’s eggs are set to be an occasional treat, particularly during these trying financial times. At £6.75, the price is on a par with the Wolseley in Piccadilly, where a similar dish can be had for the same price, in genuinely glamorous surroundings and with much better service. If Relish is going to survive the dreaded CC, its owners had better have a rethink, and sooner rather than later. Until then, my jar of Hollandaise is doing very nicely.