Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Mess Café

I’m not even a resident (am a long-term Notting Hillbilly, ‘nuff of that) of Hackney but I might as well be bestowed with a little gold star for voicing its worth. I have and always will believe that the sun does indeed shine more brightly on this part of London; oft flawed and rough yes, but I see it as a paradise without order and decree. Oh, the rawness and edginess…an accidental splendour! And unlike the other boroughs in London I don’t think boredom quite fits in; Hackney I suppose assuages the grief from our daily modi operandorum. It’s a precarious beauty - it draws the 20 and 30 somethings to its immense but soon-to-be-crowded lair because of the purportedly affordable accommodation, fringe art galleries, the bus with the greatest frequency courtesy of Transport for London that’s route 38, beautiful skies (I kid you not, if Heathrow was based here the passengers arriving wouldn’t be greeted with grim grey skies!), the Square Mile Coffee monopoly that’s evident in countless independent caffs that are dotted around the borough, discarded chicken bones contributing to street art like chewing gums to Oxford Street, it’s also home to the Murder Mile of Britain as well as the Pho Mile, the virginal and new London Overground (appreciate the pristine carriages before they’re strewn with messy graffiti!) and not to mention the 2012 Olymp…I could go on but the Word prog is having an issue with my grammatically dodgy long sentences. Look just love Hackney before Octagon turns the marshes into poncy and posh living quarters with a golf club attached.

You still with me? Good, if you want to get pissed senseless and end up with the mother of hangovers the morning after then there’s a cure, Hackney Central is your salvation. It’s the home of Mess Café. I’ve deliberately deferred the post about it because queuing up for your grub is a discomforting chore that should be abolished without question. Mess Café happens to be one of Hackney’s best kept secrets, it’s a greasy spoon that takes no prisoners, and it excels! Yes let’s ponder back ‘bout the queues, unfortunately they’re part and parcel at Mess, and that includes weekdays where folks like local civil servants, aspiring YBAs and yum mums with Russell Group degrees await, albeit sensibly, for their tables and subsequently devour the rewarding and absolutely delicious badass tings like eggs (battery of course) and chips (frozen no less). Yess, Mess’s a greasy spoon where one can enjoy a good meal without Lady Bamford of Daylesford and her disciples presiding over what you can or cannot eat. Life’s too short, so curb whatever conscience you might be influenced by, I insist that you should treat yourself to some domestic pig goodies like bacon and sausages. It may well not be from a Gloucestershire Old Spot or Middle White breed but you and I know full well the they taste glorious and they’re cheap as chips. Long live greasy spoons and likewise fry-ups!

Mess Café is an established greasy spoon and of late it decided to transform itself and comply with modernity. Unfortunately the up-to-date procedure turned it into a clinical looking canteen fit for an industrial park

They tried hard with the Lichtensteins...

...but I think Banksy’s more appropriate. Thankfully the wonderful grub remains the same. Like a majority of greasy spoons in Hackney, Mess is meticulously run by either Turks or Kurds and for some ironic reason they’re masters at cooking the most perfectly crisp bacon rashers! I would abhor any comments about the service here, it’s a caff FGS! Don’t expect slickness, the unashamed slackness persists because they’re busy and thus so.

Shiny happy menu

Reading material vaguely provided

As for the times of trouble (hangover, etc), don’t expect Mother Mary to come to you and speak words of wisdom! You cometh here for the cure and this is it- The redoubtable Mess Breakfast-

Not quite a full English but unquestionably fulfils nonetheless. It includes crispy (undyingly consistent), back bacon, a little sausage (size matters but who gives a monkey’s!), fried egg (essentially over easy), grilled mushrooms and tomato, sautéed potatoes and choices of the following- white, brown or granary toast and tea or coffee

£4.70 for the lot.

If Shane MacGowan came here on a late Sunday morning and had this dish, he would sober up in no time.

For the fry-up purists you can create your own dream plateful to include more eggs, baked beans, black pudding, hash browns, tinned tomatoes (love ‘em), and various veggie options.

In addition to the usual omelettes and token ginormous salads, Mess accomplishes itself with fancy but delicious looking focaccia platters and half-decent homemade burgers-

With cheese and egg

Pound for pound it’s more substantial than the ones from chainy Byrons and it’s loads cheaper. It’s perfectly palatable and you can have it cooked anyway you fancy as long as it’s well done.

Secret’s out, one of the best breakfasts sought in London. Hail Mess! Enjoy.

*Receipts do not figure here and this wasn’t an invite to review!
** What's so wrong with Comic Sans? Nothing, I’m common and I love it!

38 Amhurst Road
London E8 1JN


Unknown said...

Yeah it's a good un! I live ten minutes walk away so can sample easily. Have you been to the Pembury Tavern just a couple of minutes up the road from Mess? It's a super pub - big, interesting beer, no music etc.


Rachel said...

Ooh, do try Dalston Lane Cafe next time you're in the 'hood, it's that rare thing - a posh greasy spoon.

bellaphon said...

Oliver- Thank you. Yes I've been prompted by my bedfellows at Randomness to seek out the Pembury Tavern. Brill guest real ales, what more can one ask for!

Rachel- Thank you as well. Great tip, will give it a go.

Ellie said...

Hello - I love where the sun

I'd like to mail you but can't find an address. DO you prefer to stay incognito?


bellaphon said...

Ellie- the sun hereby shineth on your comment. It's bellaphon at yahoo dot com

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