Monday 16 June 2008

The Deptford Project

The Dame's first 'official' visit to the Deptford Project, Deptford's new 'jaw-achingly trendy new cafe-bar' (that's what Brockley Central said about it, not sure what it means but nice to know our neighbours are now a teeny bit jealous of us!) was a bit of a disappointment, so I held off reviewing it until I'd been back for a second visit. After all, every new place has teething problems, and it seemed only fair to give it a second chance. It lived up to, and beyond the challenge, I'm happy to say!

On reflection, my first visit for breakfast last Saturday morning was a tough ask, especially since the cafe had only been open a few days. Deptford is not blessed with as many greasy spoons as you might expect, but a couple of them reach a pretty high level by greasy spoon standards(and some of them are correspondingly poor, it's true to say). So to go to a trendy cafe for a fried egg sandwich was always going to be interesting.

The most notable difference was that my egg sandwich came with salad! I'm not talking about a plateful, it was more like salad garnish, but not really necessary accompaniment to such a dish. More problematic was the fact that my request for salt and pepper threw the staff into a bit of a tizz! In all seriousness, you can't have a fried egg sandwich without a touch of salt and some black pepper - table condiments please!

The sandwich was tasty (even without condiments) and the coffee was better than at my regular greasy spoon, but could have done with being a bit stronger. That being said, it was extremely pleasant to sit out on the decking in the sun, and enjoy my breakfast al fresco.

My second visit, for lunch today, was a much better experience, and the food exactly as I had hoped it would be. The baguette sandwiches looked nothing out of the ordinary, but the vegetarian quiche and fish pie that were on offer as lunchtime specials, and the three salads available were clearly homemade and proved very tasty.

I had the quiche (spinach and feta cheese with a pleasingly crunchy pastry base) along with two salads, one was nicoise-esque with green beans, tuna and boiled egg, the other was a lovely Moroccan-style salad with carrot, sweet potato and spices, and some leaves with a balsamic/soy sauce/olive oil dressing that finished it off wonderfully.

Along with a bottle of cranberry-flavoured soft drink, it came to £6.45 which seemed very reasonable for the quality of food.

The carriage is very brightly decorated, with one long table down the middle and the kitchen at the other end. I visited after the lunchtime rush, when it was quite quiet - it was pleasant to sit inside and read the magazines (Wallpaper and so on, imagine - in Deptford!) but I suspect it could be quite noisy if it was full. Or perhaps people speak louder when there is no-one right next to them - I was at the far end but still had to endure the full details of someone else's conversation.

Not much room for push-chairs or for children to run about (I mention that as a plus point - both the Albany and the Bear Cafe suffer too much from creche syndrome, attracting parents who think it acceptable to let your kids run riot when others are trying to enjoy a quiet lunch). Plenty of room for them to sit at the table or sleep in their buggies ;-)

All in all a fabulous addition to the area - my new lunchtime haunt, I'll be hoping to work from home a bit more often now!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Finally got round to trying this at the weekend and loved it. Thanks to your blog for the tip-off!

I can heartily recommend the hot chocolate and the all-round quirky charm.