The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Monday, July 30, 2007

Purple, Streatham

The High Parade
Streatham High Road
020 8677 2277

by Rhys Chris Peese

It may seem cavalier, on a website devoted to breakfasts, to reveal that I really don’t like eggs. Fried? No. Poached? Yuk. Boiled? Gah. In a bid to retain my reviewer’s credentials I’ll admit that scrambled can be palatable, especially with a bit of grated cheese and parsley. But that’s not good enough for Purple, tucked away on its sunless stretch of Streatham High Road. Instead, there’s a section on the menu entitled ‘Eggs Mania’, as if the liking of eggs were some kind of mental debility, available in varieties such as Benedict, or Florentine. However, they happily let me substitute peppers and asparagus from the vegetarian breakfast for the eggs on the full English, bringing joy to my heart, and less cholesterol to my arteries.

Mushrooms were the breakfast’s highlight; perfectly cooked with a rich flavour, and the sausage likewise. The grilled bacon was reasonable, although a second slice might have been nice, even for a £4.50 breakfast that included a small cup of thin coffee. The beans were hot, unlike the undercooked asparagus or the miserly quarter-tomato that had barely seen the grill.

My flatmate found herself at the sharp end of Purple’s frugality, though, when she ordered the Continental Breakfast. For £4.00 you get tea and fruit juice, but the accompanying croissant was small, burnt on the bottom, powdered mysteriously with icing sugar, ‘didn’t taste like a croissant’, and was served with margarine rather than butter: each of these an egregious offence to the French pastry.

Purple veers erratically between delightful success and awkward failure. It has aspirations beyond that of a greasy spoon, yet our wooden table was disconcertingly sticky. It has a friendly atmosphere, despite the jaunty, eponymous, colour scheme, punctuated with rubbish artworks. It’s this very inconsistency that keeps us going back, and half regretting it when we do.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ON THE CONTRARY! I find Purple to be Streatham's best local eatery!
I have been a regular there with my friends for years and never had a bad experience. Always got friendy service from long time staff - a pleasant change from the dreary constant turn over elsewhere.

For less than a fiver you get a full breakfast - sausage, eggs, mushrooms, beans, hash brown, toast, bacon and tomato - with free tea or coffee...?? That is more than reasonable.

If 'rubbish' artwork draws your attention then I'm guessing the food and atmosphere in Purple can't be as miserable as you make out, perhaps trying to sound witty and intellegent through negative critisism is as hypocritical as your comment about 'eggs being a mental debility' see reference : the first sentence of your over-the-top introduction.'

Also purple is dead opposite a wide open street so you can sit ouside and get plenty of sunshine which is not blocked by the building accross. I have myself enjoyed a few sunsets as the sun draws right into the gap between the two corners - I couldn't help but wonder whether the only sunless stretch is deep inside your heart from where you seem to be drawing all the rest of the sarcasm too.

Anyhow, my personal experience of the purple cafe has for years been nothing but positive. Always fresh food, generous portions, friendly staff , quick service, reasonable prices, warm and cosy atmosphere.
They are always flexible if you have special requests or want to change something.
And you get all this only if you are lucky enough to get a table. The place is constantly busy and to me that just speaks for itself.
And as for you Mr."Rhys Chris Peese" -you need to chill out!

4:55 PM, August 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Purple DOES have sticky tables.

1:13 AM, October 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice atmosphere, friendy staffand a great chicken ceasar salad! what more can i say?

9:51 AM, October 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's really nice there!
Friendly service greats you when you first enter and with a wide range of drinks and food on the menue everyone can find something to have. The prices are very good and it's Atmospere never fails. The purple can calm down anyone after a stressful day too.
I'd definatly recomened going there because even though i've only been there a few times, it's made an amazing impact. If theres one place to go for a little drink while your out, It's purple cafe. With restraunt quality suroundings and top notch food. The purple cafe is the place to go.

3:45 PM, October 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Visited Purple only yesterday. It was packed, the staff were friendly, and the food hit the spot. A good selection of herbal teas as well.

Rubbish artwork? Well, that's entirely subjective so...

I think if you're in the area Purple is definitely worth a visit.


7:55 PM, November 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If i think that I actually opened that place in 1998 under the original name oa "La Caffetteria" I consider My self proud of my work! I'm happy to know that after many years the place is still there and working well...I wish the best for the owners and I send a big Hug to my old customers if any of them is still eating there!!!
Thank you for your custom

6:38 PM, February 17, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:39 PM, February 17, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved Purples veggie breakfast and didnt find the asparagus under cooked but the coffee at perfect blend is far far better.

11:53 AM, April 19, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Purple is great, I've been there many a time for a hungover brekkie, eggs benedict is particularly good!!

In fact I'm going there for dinner tomorrow..can't wait!

8:35 PM, September 09, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love Purple. The coffee is nice and the tea is good in fact they seem to have every type of tea you want. I am vegetarian and always have a nice meal there. Would really like a few light desserts my waistline cannot hold out to all those rich desserts. The wine menu can be sometimes a bit lacking. Haven't the ever heard of Sauvignon blanc? I think the staff are really nice friendly and always very attentive. Don't like the poor ventilation or the decor but as I stated at the start of my review... I love PURPLE.

9:55 PM, October 27, 2011  

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