The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Friday, September 28, 2012

Made in Camden, Chalk Farm

Made in Camden
The Roundhouse
Chalk Farm Road
Chalk Farm NW1 8EH
020 7424 8495

by Poppy Tartt

It’s four years since I wrote a breakfast review. But it’s not four years since I ate breakfast, thankfully, and I have continued to form opinions of my breakfasts, albeit privately. Welcome to the site of my first public breakfast opinion in four years. The venue is Made in Camden, the Roundhouse’s mysteriously underperforming eaterie. The location is promising. The food is good. In fact, this is my fifth visit. But perhaps there’s something wrong with me, because nobody else seems convinced. The restaurant is often barely a quarter full, great big airport lounge of a space that it is. This may be because working out how to gain access is unusually challenging, especially the morning after the etc. (Look for the strangely inconspicuous three-metre-wide door to the right of the frontage.) It’s almost as if the architect were briefed to design a room large enough to accommodate everybody who’s ever been to the Roundhouse (and a door that could admit ten of these people abreast). I’m only exaggerating slightly.

But let me tell you about the food. I always order the fritters – previously sweetcorn, now a chickpea/courgette composition – served with bacon, avocado, sour cream, chilli jam and salad leaves. Once a diehard opponent of salad-at-breakfast, I have made a frenemy of my foe. I cannot speak more highly of this dish, hence why I have never ventured to order anything else. In my old age I hanker after the avocado and the chickpea like a vegan Antipodean. My companions’ plates bear testimony to the sparkling menu: pomegranate seeds in the shakshuka, beetroot leaves in the salad. It’s colourful, more so than the venue, despite the hip retro event posters papering the scene. Something is missing, restaurant-makers. It’s atmosphere.

There is another, more troubling element: the tea. The brand is Tea Pigs, faux-artisanal tea de rigueur, which comes in gossamer pouches known by the company as, yes, tea temples. Okay, it’s a flavoursome tea. But tea should be hot and in Made in Camden it is merely tepid, urged quickly towards cold by the heat-conducting cast-iron teapots in which it is served. The lack of hot tea hurts me, especially in this bus depot of a room. But I do enjoy those fritters.


Blogger HB said...

I personally haven't ever had a problem with places that use teapigs, infant one of my favourite cages uses them! Although they don't have a patch on real tea parlours. Recently I've been looking at tea palace in cogent garden quite a bit.

Lovely blog! Hilarious, captivating posts.

8:15 PM, October 03, 2012  
Anonymous Stephen said...

My pet hate in some establishments is when the tea is brought to the table well before the food arrives and I've had to gamble on either - A. Wait until Breakfast arrives as my tea cools to room temperature or B. Get stuck in while it's hot hoping that breakfast will make an early show.

11:28 AM, October 25, 2012  
Anonymous Malcolm Eggs said...

Stephen - I could not agree more. What are your thoughts on (C) order a further cup when the food arrives?

10:19 AM, October 27, 2012  
Anonymous gutscheine zum ausdrucken said...

sehr guter Beitrag

7:45 PM, November 22, 2012  
Blogger Unknown said...

After being down south last week, followed by a whirl wind work trip and more whirl wind work stuff, it's good to be at home having a second Saturday morning coffee. london apartments for rent

6:29 AM, November 26, 2012  

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