The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Relish, Newington Green

Relish
44-45 Newington Green Road
Newington Green
N16 9QH
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.

17 Comments:

Blogger msaims said...

hollandaise from a jar?
eeew!

1:54 AM, November 15, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The price for eggs royale is £4.50...

10:49 AM, November 15, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been there a few times. Thought it would be a welcome addition to Newington Green. Food is fine, but service is appalling. Four staff and two customers, but staff refuse to catch your eye, forget half the order ...

6:19 PM, November 16, 2008  
Anonymous Megan Bacon said...

Anon: Maybe the price has gone down, but I definitely paid £6.75 when I went.

Yes, hollandaise from a jar. What of it? It's only mayonnaise with lemon juice, my sqeamish friend.

12:59 PM, November 17, 2008  
Blogger Donna said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:35 PM, November 17, 2008  
Blogger Donna said...

Er, no it's not. Hollandaise is a emulsion of melted butter, vinegar and egg yolks, served warm. Mayonnaise is made with vegetable oil and egg yolks, and is lovely in its own place, but that place is not atop a poached egg and muffin. I echo the initial "eeew".

1:36 PM, November 17, 2008  
Anonymous Megan Bacon said...

Yes, I know it's not LITERALLY mayo with lemon, but it's not far off, so I don't see why hollandaise from a jar is so intrinsically disgusting. Obviously homemade is best, but the jarred variety is surprisingly pleasant.

I don't make my own ketchup either. And I eat microwaved hamburgers. Not really.

2:12 PM, November 17, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hollandaise sauce is sort of tricky to make. It is a french sauce made with a reduction of egg yolks and melted butter. It must be served and kept warmed otherwise it splits. If you put the hollandaise sauce under the grill it goes to something very similar to melted cheese in taste. So, I guess it has nothing in common with mayo apart the fact it is made from eggs...

12:32 PM, November 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what has happened to Relish? It looks like it could be out of business - a victim of its terrible service...

7:40 PM, November 23, 2008  
Anonymous Megan Bacon said...

I'm pretty sure it closed down this week... just after my review went up! Oops.

10:14 AM, November 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a friend that worked there and he said they closed down without paying any member of the staff!! and he said the wages were always late and that may explain the bad service because no one can make a good job when is not getting paid...

3:44 PM, November 27, 2008  
Blogger alistairt said...

Well it's no great loss to the breakfasting world, I much prefer acoustic round the corner, one of my absolute favourites.

Though it is a shame relish went, It was handy for smoked salmon and some odd pasta and things

9:51 PM, January 13, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Relish being closed has put a grey cloud over the square....

Bad service but great space and food who knows what it will be now...????

3:42 PM, January 19, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hipp hipp Hurray, looks like Relish will open their doors again....

2:52 PM, January 28, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody know if Relish has reopened? I just got an email from a guy that brazilian guy that worked there asking me to boycott Relish if they eventualy reopen as he claims to have lost one month of his wages.
I personaly think we should try to know what is going on. If you dont pay the people that work for you it is slavery and it is ilegal in this country for centuries.

9:52 PM, February 09, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like Relish will open again but new owners, and looks very different inside.

Looks like it is going to be a pizza place....
Thubms up to them....

I guess if you dong pay your workers then something should be done, but I am sure that there is a good reason behind it, like the owner being very ill is what I heard....

7:42 AM, February 21, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being ill does not mean you keep a £12k bike while your ex employees do not have money to pay the rent.Anyway, a quick check at companies house website shows the place still belongs to the same "ill" owner...
Well, I guess people do not care about this sort of stuff,the world would no be in this state if we did!

7:22 AM, March 08, 2009  

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