Jim’s Cafe on Chatsworth Road is always busy, whatever day of the week. I have been a few times and have had great experiences every single time.
The decor of the place is great. It has elements of a traditional greasy spoon. These features have been spruced up and given a modern edge. The front of the cafe is all wooden booths and diner tables. When you get to the back room it has exposed brick, chipped tiles and a feeling of being really open and bright, a little like being in a conservatory.
This time around, myself and a friend sat in the back room (a table away from Pixie Geldof, I don’t think I could have felt any more East London. We ordered latte’s and caught up.
Then it came to the main event. I have tried a few bits at Jim’s but what I ate was definitely my favourite. I had the scrambled egg with Gruyère and parmesan and mushrooms (which I had on the side)on sourdough toast. I had a side of sausage patty, which I couldn’t finish but it tasted AMAZING. The whole dish put a fancier spin on a traditional breakfast.
My friend had the sausage and tomato Benedict which was huge! We both didn’t quite finish our meals but both really enjoyed it. It is refreshing to see items on a brunch menu that are a little different to the norm. Despite the fact hat it was busy, we didn’t feel rushed so managed to catch up and not feel too guilty.
Jim’s is always the first place I recommend to people when they want brunch in East London. If you like little details, the pictures in the bathroom were from the original cafe itself!
If you follow bloggers on Instagram, you will have probably seen the perfectly iced biscuits form Biscuiteers sent as gifts or attached to press packs. I found them purely by accident online and have been a little obsessed ever since.
I ordered my dad a Batman themed box of iced biscuits for Father’s Day and booked an afternoon tea in the cafe as a joint Mothers Day and birthday present for my mum. We headed to the Portobello road to have a wander before getting to the cafe itself.
The whole place is bright and colourful with pom-poms attached everywhere as well as every kind of biscuit you could imagine. It had a really cosy feel to it as places to sit were on the side of the counter and outside. We sat down at our table with red and white crockery and were given a pot of English Breakfast tea.
We then had a cake stand put down on the table filled with treats. On the sandwich tier there was cucumber and cream cheese, cheese and chutney as well as smoked salmon. It then had the tier with salted caramel brownies, macaroons, white chocolate and passionfruit cakes, fruit tarts, Victoria sponges and iced biscuits. There was so much colour and flavour on the plate! We tucked in and the scones turned up!
Everything was delicious without being overly sweet. There was so much food, I left a fair amount which was put into two “doggy bags” for us to take home. The Victoria sponge and the salted caramel brownie were absolutely incredible (SO good).
Once we finished tea, we went to look at the biscuits so we could take some home. I picked a selection so I got a gingerbread, chocolate and vanilla. I spent ages trying to find the perfect ones. I am definitely going to get gifts for different occasions! It’s nice to see so much effort and time to be put into something – especially when it is going to taste great!
Monty’s Deli has been talked about for years when it was at it’s original spot near Maltby Street Market. I never had a chance to try it so we decided to try out their brand new home on Hoxton Street.
First things first, the decor is AMAZING. I love retro furniture and Monty’s did not disappoint. There was dar wooden chairs, tables and a big old fashioned bar in the middle. The whole place had a feel of what a jewish deli in the 60’s might have been like.
The lunch menu was simple, there were a few brunch items but I went for the main event – the sandwich. I had the Mensch with salt beef on rye bread and my boyfriend Andrew had the Reuben Special with salt beef, pastrami with cheese and sauerkraut. We shared a portion of fries too. The salt beef was so tender and melted in my mouth! The fries were cut thin with some skin still left on which made them crisp and tasty.
There was a takeaway section on the side of the restaurant which meant you could get a sandwich or bagel filled with delicious beef or salmon to take away. They also had plain bagels to buy in the bakery along with other things. One of my favourite sweet treats is Babka, the twisted dough with cinnammon or chocolate. The Good Egg in Stoke Newington does a really good babka, as does Bernstein’s on Chatsworth Road. However, Monty’s Deli does the best babka I have tried in London. If that isn’t reason to go alone, I don’t know what is!
Borough Market is an institution. The famous food market is always busy and has a great selection of food, drink and produce.
We ventured over on a busy Saturday to window shop and take in all of the sights and the smells.
There is so much to see it can be a little overwhelming.The hot food stalls are all on one side and it means that it can be reaaaaaaaallly busy. We tried some scotch eggs from Scotch Tails but didn’t have space to take a picture!
If you haven’t been before I would recommend trying a few bits! Bread Ahead have a stall further into the market. You’ve probably seen pictures on Instagram of their INSANELY good doughnuts.
If you are a fan of spicy then Pimento Hill does some delicious Scotch Bonnet Chilli Jam. You will get some testers to try before you buy too! Spice Mountain has all of the spices, salts and peppers you will ever need!
We headed to Neal’s Yard to try some cheese. After going to Clove Club in Shoreditch and trying the tasting menu, they had some incredible goats cheese from Neals Yard. We tried some in store and it was so good. We took some home with us. The huge blocks of cheese don’t even look real and the whole room is full of all of the cheese you can imagine.
3bis Gelato is right next door to Neals Yard. As it was getting a little warmer as we are falling into spring, we decided to share a tub. Chocolate sauce is drizzled underneath and topped with the ice cream of your choice. There are a small selection of flavours to choose from but they all look so tasty.
Buying lots from Borough Market can get expensive Take a friend to share bigger dishes and wander round getting all the tasters you can stomach!
I am that person who takes pictures of my food in restaurants. I love a good shot of a well made coffee. Bloggers do it, people who love Instagram do it and I think I found the perfect place to do it – Palm Vaults.
You have probably seen pictures of Palm Vaults, based on Mare Street in Hackney, without even realising. They are known for their pink decor, Miami based decor and rainbow lattes. I didn’t fancy a rose, velvet, matcha or tumeric latte. Despite the idea of something colourful, I wanted a decent coffee that had actual coffee in.
We ordered a latte, a flat white and a chocolate and salted caramel brownie. The coffee was good but the brownie was incredible. Really tasty ! Andrew was fighting me for the last bite.
The decor is lovely, but not very well planned out. The chairs take up a lot of space and as it is nearly always full, you’ll find people standing and waiting for you to leave. Andrew was despairing over the amount of people taking pictures of the place rather than enjoying the coffee in front of them. There were girls swapping seats so they could all get the right angles.
I headed to the bathroom before we left and the decor didn’t disappoint. Palm tree wallpaper, a pink sink, massive mirror and Aesop hand wash. It was something out of Pinterest! The only downside is girls with big SLR cameras were trying to get in and shaking the door so they could take a picture. Not what you want when going for a wee!
Overall, I think Palm Vaults has a lot of promise. However, we went on a quiet Friday afternoon. I have walked past on a weekend and seen queues out of the door! I’d like to go and try brunch or breakfast (with a cheeky cake on the side too maybe) but I think I might leave that for an afternoon with the girls, who’ll appreciate the Instagram aesthetic!
I am an absolute sucker for ramen. The rich flavour and being able to have a really tasty broth keeps you warm and happy. Living in Hackney, we are a short walk away from Mare Street where there is Tonkotsu. Theres a few of these in London, one not far from my office in Soho. Mare Street is an odd part of Hackney. Despite there being high street stores there, it has a weird mix of people too. Tonkotsu could be lost amongst the convenience stores but what a find!
We are lucky enough to live near enough to get a bowl of ramen on UberEats which we have done a few times. Finding ourselves free on a weekday meant we could pop in and have a cheeky lunch deal.
Despite it being a weekday and the restaurant being a little tucked away, there were a fair few people in! For £9.95 you can get a small bowl of ramen and a side. However, looking at the small it was a bit too small so we upgraded a bigger bowl for £1.95!
I opted for chicken gyoza (something elspe I love, I might put my recipe up for this at one point) and Andrew went for prawn gyoza. Then came the main event – the tasty bowl of ramen. I got the Tokyo with pork, which has a soy base. Andrew had the chilli chicken, which I have had before but is a little to spicy for me.
If you find yourself in Hackney around lunch time then definitely go to Tonkotsu. It ticks all the boxes. It is a great setting too – theres even a massive mural of a dinosaur terrorizing the London skyline!