Monday, 26 September 2011

A review of Jones Dairy cafe

23 Ezra Street, London, E2 7RH (behind the Royal Oak pub on Columbia Road)

For a quiet breakfast on a Saturday morning in East London, you might want to try Jones’ Dairy cafe. On a Sunday it’s packed with people grabbing takeaways and oysters which is great in its own right, but not what you want if you’re after a relaxing brunch.

On Saturday mornings however, it’s usually nice and quiet with a selection of seating either outside, in the ‘lean-to’ or within the solid bricks and mortar of the cafe-proper. Tucked behind the deli, and down a cobbled side street, it’d be easy to miss were it not for the chalk board sentries at either end of the alleyway.

The quality of food here is without question (they specialise in organic, locally produced, and fair trade produce, sourced direct from the farm where possible), but the service is rather less than speedy. Some might see this as a criticism, but I for one like to be reminded to slow down a bit sometimes. After all, if you’re out for brunch at the weekend, what’s the rush? It’s a good thing in my eyes to be encouraged to pore over the menu, drink a whole cup of coffee before breakfast arrives and have time to read the weekend paper almost cover to cover. What else are weekends for?

It’s encouraging to note that this review is somewhat delayed because I had to return two weeks in a row to collect the photographic evidence I need to create a proper review. The first time, my breakfast arrived and I ate it so fast I forget to take a picture. That’s got to be a good sign right?

The first time, I had the full English breakfast. Some may say it’s expensive at near to £9, but bear in mind that this includes tea or coffee and toast with butter and jams on the side. Two people can have more than they could ever need to eat and drink for £20 with tip included. I think that’s pretty good myself.

The breakfast is a traditional affair - refreshing in the modern world of avocado and chipolata invasion.

There are plenty of other options if you don’t fancy the full breakfast with pastries, bagels, fish and plenty of variations of eggs to choose from. On my second visit I had the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon which, although swimming in a questionable substance I took to be milk, tasted delicious.

I’ve read a couple of reviews which note the ‘curt’ attitude of the staff, and did notice that the woman in charge seemed a little fraught. However, the weekend waitress staff were very polite and helpful. If you aim to turn up for about 11am there should be two on hand to see you right.

All in all, a lovely breakfast and cosy atmosphere. I almost can’t wait for it to start getting cold...

Jones Dairy has a website.

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