Ben was kind enough to buy me these two lovely drawings for my birthday; the twin pillars of my Soho life - Bar Italia and Bar Bruno (pictured before its latest revamp). They're by Eleanor Crow who does gorgeous stuff. Thanks Ben!
Absolutely gorgeous. Text book. I imagine you could draw one of those Golden Ratio things over that and prove it was in fact a renaissance painting. And you might even suggest that the egg represented the sun high above the Roman hills while the chips were the massed galleons of whoever probably invaded Rome at some point. And that, therefore, beans = Rome, bacon = sky. Obvs.
From this angle you can see pock-marking on the face of the sun which might indicate concentrations of magnetic field flux, inhibiting convection and resulting in reduced surface temperature compared to the surrounding, er, egg. So, worth watching out for.
A magnificent condiment array. All the basics, lined-up and ready to go.
This view suggests mortars, ready to pummel your taste buds. Though obviously they'd be more tactically valuable if deployed from a concealed position.
The Little Portland's interior is dominated upfront by a huge glass cabinet of delight and at the back by tables. Beyond that there's the blue hole of kitchen. Splendid.
And the exterior looks lovely now too. The pink is gone, spring is round the corner, those chairs look perfect for a sit and a think.
As you can see, the Hightaste is the lone survivor amongst the old and interesting businesses that have nestled for years next to Smithfields Market. I presume it's still there because someone needs to feed the workers rebuilding everything round here. Cafes have a complex relationship with gentrification - they're never busier than when all the builders arrive and they're sometimes there for years, but then the dust settles and all anyone wants is an artisanal drip.
This magnificence will never go out of fashion though. Look at the crispiness of those chips - solid, sharp, structural, predictable enough for a good game of Jenga. The bacon's dark and crispy enough for a goth sandwich, the beans are textbook, the egg lies like a snowy blanket on a Malvern hillside.
No fuss with the condiments.
Same with the interiors. Chairs, tables, heater, arts, the basics.
This is fantastic place. Old school. Visit while you can.
The EBCB is fantasic, doubly so on a cold Saturday morning when you've just surveyed the mess that's been made of the bus station. That egg has a look of Zaha Hadid, you could imagine a fabulously bestowed sports complex or arts centre with those proportions. The chips are big but not fat, solid but not without flamboyance, they are the Andy Carroll of chips. The beans and the bacon balance each other perfectly, happy to serve as backdrops for the other two elements, quiet, unfussy, simply present.
Textbook condiment selection and menu rest, the sauce comes in sachets, controversial for some, fair enough for me.
It's big and bountiful inside, bright and energetic. It was packed just a bit earlier but they coped happily with the crowds, swift and efficient.
And if you're lucky you can sit by the window, watch the passers by.
Cafe Kozzy is just across the road from the previously reviewed Becks - though Becks has changed, it looks like this now...
Anyway, back to the Kozzy. Fancy menus. Good.
I ordered in slightly the wrong order. I love these little ordering slips and the codes contained therein. I'll always think of Baked Beans as being in Bflat from now on.
Always nice to get to choose your strength with the teabag. And to have somewhere to put it. Classic.
And the ebcb is magnificent. Huge. It's hard to convey just how big these plates are. They're big like the seas on Mars are big. You know, big.
Maybe this view will help convery it. For a sense of perspective, that mug at the back, that mug is twice the height of a London bus. The chips are that lovely pale, crunchy variety, starchy arrows aimed at your heart, the bacon is rich and pink like the petals on a meat rose, the beans orange like Martian blood, the egg as white and pure as virginal linen. All over nice.
Simple, efficient interior, flawless, speedy service. A fantastic ebcb lunch pop-in. Well done Cafe Kozzy.