Friday 25 January 2013


Latest new cafe on the local scene is Chinwag, which opened a few weeks ago in New Cross - it's in the row of eateries on the London-bound side of the one-way system, right opposite to Goldsmith's college and just up the hill from the Marquis of Granby.

I went there last week to sample breakfast - all in the name of research of course. We got off to a somewhat shaky start when we found the cafe was only just opening up, more than an hour after the advertised time. But it was right in the middle of the snowy time, so we cut them a bit of slack and went for a coffee in the London Particular to kill 15 minutes or so. 

Given the fantastic breakfast offerings at the London Particular, it was tough work tearing ourselves away to go back to Chinwag, but we made the break.

The interior is quite homely and quirky, with old pages of the South London Press under glass on the table tops (with job advertisements pre-dating sex discrimination laws) and wall lights made of taps with droplet-shaped light bulbs. 

The menus are handwritten and stuck into the first few pages of old hardback books, another quirky idea - so you can read the book if you have forgotten your paper or iphone - but unfortunately not very legible, given that whoever wrote it doesn't have the best handwriting.

The breakfast menu was not huge, but as well as offering full meaty and veggie breakfasts (£6.99 each), you can have eggs benedict or eggs florentine for £4.99, omelette with choice of filling, or something a bit more healthy like granola or porridge.

I went for the full meaty breakfast as shown below; toast is included too. First comment, the sausages were very good - I am notoriously fussy about my bangers and have pretty high standards. These were proper sausages, not those bland sawdusty cheapo things. Bacon is not really my bag, it seemed ok but I did give the second slice away due to lack of interest. Roasted cherry tomatoes were excellent, as was the mushroom, and even the standard hash brown was hot, crunchy and fresh.

The only thing that let it down somewhat was the toast - regular white sliced, nothing special. A couple of pieces sliced thickly off a loaf would improve it, and offering the choice of white or brown would help. In all, though, a very tasty and filling breakfast - not cheap, but certainly not overpriced, and one of the best local options for a good quality full English.

Coffee got good marks too - perhaps a little below Waiting Room standard, but since they do the best coffee in the whole of London, nothing to be ashamed of. Very friendly and welcoming, we were even asked if everything was ok - not something that happens often when you are eating breakfast!

Chinwag also does lunches (wraps, soup, etc) and a range of burgers. There's an interview with the owners on Brockley Central.

21 Lewisham Way
Opening hours: 9am-9pm


Richard Elliot said...

I've arranged a visit to Chinwags with my friends in a couple of weeks time to try their burgers. Hopefully they will be good!

You're right, in New Cross the London Particular is very hard to beat for breakfast.

Just. Hangsing said...

I just past by it tonight and though about checking it out and it appear in your blog. Exellent. Got to try it.

Jess said...

Ahhh - Give me Goldsmiths cafe any day of the week. Always friendly, great value and give great service!

Sky London said...

We are very spoilt with London Particular and Waiting Room (my happy place), anyone else was a big ask to draw me away.