The location of a greasy spoon or workman's café set within a sprawling council estate in London’s East End makes it even more purposeful. And the name Corner Café just cannot be anything else but that, I mean can you picture ‘Anton’s Bistrot’ as an alternative name (Roman Road, E2, etc.)? No, lead balloons admonish such thoughts. Truth be told, I was drawn here by the coffee pics on flickr, incredulous suggestions of latte art found in a greasy spoon…unheard of! Roman Road is not the most accessible for a West End wretch like me, I arrived here by the number 8 bus.
I didn’t pay much attention to the inside of the café but my recollections were that of a tidy and orderly establishment, it’s the sort of place that indicates the owner’s heart is very much in the business and the commitment is obvious to note. I ordered one of the many set breakfasts available on the menu and as with all genuine greasy spoon caffs like this, tea or coffee is included. Just to be on the safe side, I told the lovely lady that I wanted to upgrade my inclusive drink to a cappuccino. (As a rule the coffee served in cafés in the UK is s**t)
Settled myself al fresco. The assured bliss of both the bus fumes and smoker sitting next to me…Sybil, what more can one ask for!
My word, here we go, the cappuccino. The lady who served me also made this, the woman is quite clearly a proper barista*.
Technically speaking this is a beautifully made cup of coffee and only let down by the blend of the beans used, if only Union or Monmouth beans were used instead, Corner Café would then be Premier League material. I’m an immensely happy bunny to come across this place.
The Set B breakfast. Check out the bread, these guys are serious.
The ubiquitous St. John+ sausage** (forget about posh bangers made from rare breeds, this is authentic greasy spoon fodder); golden brown perfection! The problem with sitting out here is that everyone who walks past is either drooling over what you’re eating or questioning the condition of your arteries.
£4.70 for the lot, so pigs do indeed fly. For comparison’s sake I paid £3.00 for my triple shop flattie at the Milk Bar on the same day, peeps I declare Corner Café a destination place. Great coffee and great breakfasts. Highly recommended.
*I was later told her boss is even better at creating rosettas.
140 Roman Road
London E2 0RY