The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Friday, May 02, 2008

Café Mozart, Highgate

Café Mozart
17 Swains Lane
N6 6QX
020 8348 1384

By Cher E. Jamm

There is nothing like a bit of alfresco breakfasting at this time of year. When it’s not pouring with rain, the birds are a tweetin’, cherry blossoms are a bloomin’ and the sun has a way of shining down on your plate like a proud chef watching over your shoulder as you eat.

Café Mozart is a popular North London breakfast spot. The décor, supposedly modelled on a traditional Austrian kaffee house, is a tad gloomy and depressing – all dark wood panelling and (of course) a few Mozart manuscripts dotted around casually, jostling with other vaguely Austrian relics in various forms. It has its charms, but after more than five minutes inside the atmosphere becomes strangely suffocating.

The good news is this: they have a big outdoor dining area at the front, it’s a mere shimmy to Hampstead Heath and the staff are friendly and efficient – within moments of sitting outside, a cheery waitress delivers a couple of menus and a jug of water and takes our drinks order. Oh, and the cake counter will have your saliva glands doing the hula if you stare at it for too long.

Tea is served with the bag in and the milk in a small jug at its side. Orange juice is fresh, lovely and cold. We order. I’m having the Veggie breakfast and I make Mr Jamm order the Full English. We are given the choice of how we’d like our eggs and what type of bread we’d like. I go for granary and Mr Jamm goes for rye. A side of spinach and sautéed potatoes is also thrown into the mix. 10 minutes later and our breakfast arrives - both dishes are plentiful, hot and I’m happy to say, the bacon is delightfully crispy.

I’m afraid that’s all I can remember. I’ve tried to recall what the eggs were like, and I know the vegetarian ‘sausage’ was hideous, dry and a bit like chewing on a rolled up towel, but I’m afraid my tastebuds went into a boredom-induced coma at some stage after the second bite. What I can tell you is this: I won’t be coming back unless it’s for tea and cake.


Blogger doctorwhy said...

Thanks - I'm glad there is finally a review of Cafe Mozart - I've been going to Kalendar next door for years and have always wondered about its neighbour. Reading this review, it seems like I haven't been missing anything.

2:29 PM, May 02, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with sparklya - several times I've been down that way for breakfast and thought about trying Cafe Mozart, but then I think, why bother when I can just go to Kalendar again?

9:55 AM, May 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I'd been doing the same for years. The irony is, both places are now owned by the same people!

Thanks for commenting. Oh, and I've been for tea and cake since I went there for breakfast and I have to say, it was lovely. All is not lost.

1:20 PM, May 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a bit wary of Austrians at the moment

11:04 AM, May 06, 2008  
Blogger Mr Jones said...

I posted a comment about Tom's kitchen below... maybe amusing for you to read.

11:16 AM, May 09, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The irony is, both places are now owned by the same people!"

They should just knock down the dividing walls and super-size Kalendar. Then at least it might be easier to find somewhere to sit.

5:35 PM, May 10, 2008  
Blogger DarkoV said...

Those last 3 paragraphs had me thinking Mr.'s Hyde and Jekkyl were sharing a table with you. First two of the last three paragraphs were all bouncy and gay and then a depressive cloud suddenly jumps into the final paragraph.

What happened so suddenly to torpedo the meal?

2:42 PM, May 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, young Darvov, what happened is this: I started eating.

4:24 PM, May 22, 2008  
Anonymous paul haine said...

"They should just knock down the dividing walls and super-size Kalendar."

Three years later and I find that Mozart has closed down and the above is exactly what they're going to do now. I PREDICTED THE FUTURE.

12:02 PM, January 29, 2011  

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