Greaseless Spoon Cafe, Holborn
7-8 Little Turnstile
Mon 19th – Fri 23rd April, 9am – 4pm daily
To book tickets on Facebook click here
by Stephen Fry-Up
What better way to spend a Sunday evening than at 32 Great Queen Street in the company of, among others, esteemed Lon Review of Breakfasts stalwarts Malcolm Eggs and Hashley Brown? The whole shindig was a celebration of the recent marriage of another LRB lynchpin, Blake Pudding, to his delightful wife, Mrs Blake Pudding. Monday morning in the office was something of a rude awakening – tweeted offers of morning sherry did little to improve things. The only solution – breakfast.
Thank goodness then for Tefal, who'd invited yours truly to come and experience their new pop-up cafe near Holborn. Now, as much as the phrase 'pop-up' fills me with dread (they really do seem to be popping everything up these days – even toast...) free breakfast is free breakfast. So off I popped.
The whole thing is designed to promote Tefal's range of Nutricious and Delicious healthy cooking gadgets – they're offering customers all the glory of a full fry-up, with none of the guilt-inducing fatty stuff. That's the theory anyway.
Certainly the place looks how you might imagine – a cross between a proper greasy spoon (gingham tablecloths? Check) but with that slightly nauseating cleanliness also radiated by places like Giraffe. The menu is limited (no black pudding or hash browns or bubble) so I thought best to sample as much as possible by ordering the all-day breakfast.
The first thing that stuck me was the odd appearance of the poached egg – it looked like a sort of ceramic cylinder, and didn't taste particularly eggy. The sausages were fine – a cut above the usual, but nothing special, and they did have a rather odd texture. Beans and toast were beans and toast, tomato was tomato, and nowt to write home about there. Two stand-outs though: excellent mushrooms, and more butter than you could ever dream of scoffing. It was as if they were trying to make up for something...
And that something was a lack of grease. The whole point in a fry-up is that it's fatty and delicious. If you want healthy, eat a salad. Upon leaving the Greaseless Cafe I felt strange – somehow both full, and oddly empty. Rather like life then, I suppose: without grease and guilt, it just ain't worth living.