Monday, 20 April 2009

Canteen, Baker Street

Light lunch at what I would term as convenient and most definitely Plan B.
This place can be expensive for the food it serves up, don't overspend!

Good Iced Coffee

Passable Pea and Ham Soup, milled pepper needed to wake up an otherwise bland dish.

Good Treacle Tart with Jersey Cream
Nonsuch Monday morning in Marylebone

I asked for filter coffee (as it appears on the menu), but this tasted more like an Americano. Forgivable because the Monmouth beans were outstanding!

Bacon, fried eggs and bubble and squeak

Gooey loveliness

I know this is pointlessly trivial, but the Canteen has the best paper napkins in the business. Case of how to make paper look and feel like real cloth.
Now who would've thought! Oh well you heard it here first!

The 12.5% service was worth it, the staff from Walsall Warsaw were lovely.

I came here because of PalAtTable. Thanks Pal.

I’ve now been to all three branches of the Canteen. I’ve never felt inclined to write about this outfit, as there’s always something with the blogger’s block about it. I therefore state the applicable analogy of penning 1500 words on either Slough or Fowey poses little or no problem for me, but to even contemplate Sutton* would only invite the lack of inspiration or creativity to write. Canteen is my Sutton of eating places.
The half dozen meals I’ve had at the Royal Festival Hall and Spitafields branches were unmemorable, and to that I also mean they weren’t even poor enough to warrant any rants. I was resigned to the fact that Canteen promotes British food with a stereotypical approach that Brit cooking often projects- Plain Jane average. Their signature starter of Devilled kidneys on toast has a long way to go if it’s to emulate the one served at Hereford Road or indeed and likewise the Fish and Chips at The Chippy.
The location of Baker Street is not the sort of place that would make me proud as a Londoner. Like the other two branches, the dining space is spacious and it’s also one of the few places in London that cater for folks who either prefer to dine dans-le-noir (incandescent lovebirds) or happy shiny and bright dining (me! and with absolutely nothing to hide).
The service here is ‘if it needs be then it’ll have to be’ (goodish if you catch my drift) and I’ve also decided that all future snide comments regarding the European (we’re integrated now, so no mention of the East please) waiting staff are to be curbed. It’s also high time that we accept they speak hugely better English than our home-grown yoofs whose sentences are composed from a severely limited choice of words like ‘dem lot dey diss me, innit doh’.
Being the ant-social flake that I am, coming here for breakfast or tea is wonderful.
No crowds, no suits and minimal yakpackers (or mobile phone Frankensteins).
As soon as I sat down I ordered a Flat White, the Mediterranean-looking chap serving me thought I was swearing at him! I’ve become so accustomed to this wonderful Antipodal creation I’ve somehow left the cappuccino in the lurch. Wow, not bad at all, no latte art to speak of but still utterly drinkable. The blend of beans used is reminiscent of Monmouth. At least Grade B!
Bacon Butty. Not basement bargain material, but tasty nonetheless. For the price they’re charging for this sandwich the bread should’ve been the thickly sliced bloomer or farmhouse variety. The streaky bacon, crispy but not charred to death, was sweet and more than acceptable.

Based on this first visit alone I’m quite tempted to make this place my Monday morning hangout (sorry Apostrophe!). If I keeping posting pics every Monday morning from now on, then it comes highly recommended, well at least for breakfast alone.

*Suttonites or Suttonians would lead you to believe that if God chose to live in suburbia it would be their beloved Sutton. Believe me I wanted to pick Uxbridge first, but it was saved by the grace of Brunel University’s (half-decent and all) presence.

55 Baker Street
London W1U 8EW

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