Saturday, 19 January 2013

A review of J&A Cafe

J&A Cafe, 1-4 Sutton Lane, London, EC1M 5PU

A good thing about how blinking freezing it's been the last couple of weekends? Having an excuse to spend most of the day toasty warm in a cafe gorging on high calorie foodstuffs whilst saving on your heating bills.

Despite the biting winds, I made it as far as Clerkenwell last weekend to meet some friends for brunch. Farringdon station was easiest for us all to get to so I was tasked with seeking out a venue for our afternoon tryst. Luckily, I'd been keeping J&A Cafe at the back of my mind for a couple of months having discovered it after lunching at nearby St Ali (now called Workshop Coffee).

Tucked away down a tiny alleyway, the only clue to its existence from Clerkenwell Road is a sandwich board out on the street. Brave enough to duck through the doorway, I found an 'ever so cutesy' courtyard complete with fairy lights and bunting - and a cafe menu which was worth coming back for.

A year later I returned and wasn't disappointed. Greeted warmly soon after coming through the door, we were quickly seated and contemplating what would best warm our hearts and cockles. Despite deliberating for longer than strictly necessary, the waiting staff were patient and helpful in explaining any quirks of the menu.

It's not a big place but they've made good use of the space with a big communal table in the centre, flanked by smaller tables seating up to four people. The clientele was mostly youngish with a marked (and welcome) lack of children. No yummy mummies here.
Fresh tea, a well poured flat white and fruit juice were swiftly delivered to our table followed by our food order. Sitting directly behind the coffee machine and kitchen, it was a noisy spot that gave us ample chance to watch our brunch being freshly prepared.

The food was delicious, offering something for every mood - veggie breakfast for the virtuous and pancakes for a sweet tooth. I went for fried eggs on a potato cake and enjoyed a side of toast as advised by the waitress - the portion was a little on the small side. We were stuffed after just one course but there were some very tasty looking cakes and pastries had the mood struck us.

The food couldn't be faulted and we were left to our own devices despite staying to chat long after our bill had been paid. For great food, adult company and attentive service, J&A is a winner. Go.

J&A Cafe have a website, they're on Twitter and Facebook.

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