The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Konstam, King's Cross


109 King’s Cross Road
Tel: 0207 833 5040

by Dr Sigmund Fried

It’s taken me four months to actually get through the door of this wonderful café/restaurant; four months of regularly cycling past, looking longingly through its big window and thinking ‘Gosh, that place looks lovely – I’ll have to take some friends there very soon …’ (which meant, a couple of times, that I nearly got far too intimate with the back end of a braking bus). It is the incongruousness of Konstam’s stylish façade with its hefty and long wooden tables which appealed to me most. Looking like the type of place you’d perhaps expect to find on Stoke Newington Church St, its juxtaposition with some very ordinary buildings either side - a generic Irish pub; unremarkable terraced housing; a ‘massage’ parlour – renders it a lighthouse of hope in the fog-ridden, rock-strewn sea that is King’s Cross. What’s more, the benefit of it not being in Stokey is that there aren’t any smug, Berghaus-clad ‘oh-aren’t-we-so-liberal’ parents trying to force-feed their bawling off-spring tofu to ruin it.

But appearances can be deceptive. Would the food fulfill the promise of the paint job? Well, after an almost painful struggle to decide what to have from the extensive brunch menu - which includes fresh cut grapefruit with brown sugar; scrambled eggs on toast with chorizo or smoked salmon; eggs benedict or florentine; pancakes or French toast with eggs, bacon & maple syrup – I plumped for Konstam’s twist on old faithful: bacon, eggs, mushrooms, slow roast tomatoes & toast. At £5.80 not including tea it isn’t exactly cheap, but then you do have to pay for quality – and that’s what you get. Put simply, it’s one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in a long time: top-notch ingredients expertly cooked. Add to that a lovely atmosphere and great, friendly service and you know what you’ve got? A new regular customer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could I humbly suggest that you leave a map link at the base of your reviews? Maps.Google should do the trick.

This would be most helpful.

There is nothing worse, in my experience, than endlessly traipsing the back streets of King's Cross looking for a high-quality cup of tea and fry-up, finding only the jaded posturing of crack-addled hookers and a drift of heroin wraps plastering the stinking drains.

In such a scenario, a map to the tea and toast would be helpful.

8:02 AM, October 19, 2005  
Blogger London Review of Breakfasts said...

I'm sad to announce that Konstam has actually closed. This is nothing but a tragedy for London's breakfasting community - a harsh, unexpected tragedy. We'll miss you, Konstam's bubble & squeak. We'll miss you, Konstam's perfect eggs. We'll miss you, always.

Malcolm Eggs
31st January 2007

4:07 PM, January 31, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Konstam has reopened in a pub around the corner called the Prince Albert.
I've just come back from lunch full of excellent food and not much poorer. And for all your ethical types, they source most of their food from within the tube map.
It's a bit like Acorn House but without the self-satisfied air and silly prices.
The only down side is that they don't do breakfast so this post has no place on the LRB.

3:18 PM, January 16, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Konstam has for a long time been a shining beacon of culinary excellence in my life, both as breakfast provider and evening out.

Last I dined at its evening incarnation, apropos nothing the chef came over with complimentary homemade sloe gin, and discussed the year's declining sloe crop.

I whole hearted agree with you Sir Pudding.

3:38 PM, January 16, 2008  
Blogger doctorwhy said...

I almost wept the day I heard that Konstam's had closed down. Actually, it was about this time last year, and I was planning to take my new beau there for his birthday breakfast. Luckily, I called ahead and was put through to Konstam at the Prince Albert (mentioned above by Blake Pudding), and they explained that now that the owner was so busy with the new restaurant, there just didn't seem any point in keeping the breakfast joint open as its success was so dependent on his constant presence and enthusiasm. Makes sense...but still very sad. The new restaurant is great too though.

3:29 AM, April 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The concepts of locally sourced food & an open plan kitchen were appealling however they were very poorly executed.

The location was not favourable however if the food & in particular the service & attitude of the staff were of a higher standard I am sure Konstam would still be open. As it was however the restaurant was only ever half full & was destined to fail.

The owner & chef only have themselves to blame for failing to take advantage of these niche concepts. Overall Konstams closure is no great loss as it was sadly all style & no substance.

12:44 PM, August 22, 2010  

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