The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Monday, October 02, 2006

Café Bohemia, Hackney

Café Bohemia
2 Bohemia Place
Mare Street
0208 986 4325

by Cathy Latte

That long stretch of Mare Street can feel mightily oppressive. As you pass those big grey buildings it’s as if one by one they’re uprooting themselves out of their sockets, up onto your shoulders. Sirens rip through your nerves, dirt congeals on your shoes – you’re unsettled.

However, the distant vision of Mess café can always raise dwindling post-inebriated spirits, and seeing it ahead we two picked up pace. 20 metres on, my jaw slackened: the breakfast queue was out the door and ten people deep. Overcoming the need to fling myself to the pavement and beat the ground in despair I regained composure, muddled a decision and walked back to the best and nearest option I could think of: Bohemia, where I had been once before.

Bohemia should be great, tucked pleasantly away under a railway arch. Its big open door windows spill light everywhere, while trains rumble comfortingly above. But once inside I was met with a familiar wave of unease, like returning to a relationship that was disappointing first time round and finding that nothing has changed. Sure, the idiosyncrasies are still charming; their odd taste in music, their slapdash approach, and they do make a good cuppa. But something’s just not right.

I flinched as I watched the long, worrying sausage delivered to the table ahead and tried to steady my trembling hand. When our food eventually showed my toast was white, not brown, the tomato a no-show, and the greasy mushrooms contenders for the National Trust’s ‘ugliest vegetable’ competition. His bacon appeared thick as gammon, our eggs the wrong way round. The pitiful reason? That poached are made on the other side of the kitchen to everything else. Beaten and soiled, we could do nothing but pay our bill and limp back off into the bleak Hackney day.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr Sigmund Fried and I broke our fast pleasantly at Bohemia this weekend - it seems they may have 'upped their game'. Their Bohemia breakfast nearly defeated me, so great was its girth, and the sausage was pleasantly meaty. I would still, however, avoid the mushrooms - greasy little buggers as ever.
Fond Regards

12:16 PM, February 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beware the roosting pigeons under the awning outside if you choose to sit underneath... feathers, grit, shit from stirring pigeons. Awful! The food was good though, I just will always sit inside from now on...

11:04 AM, August 06, 2010  

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