Hackney is a great place to grab some Saturday breakfast, with so many choices and new cafés opening at the drop of a hat. A couple of weeks ago I decided to try the new café Dreyfus, in North Hackney, on the edges of Lower Clapton, as it looks very inviting from the outside and I live literally around the corner.
The airy two-room interior sits nestled in one of the corners that overlook the beautiful, late Georgian Clapton Square. The décor is relaxed and very cosy, with retro, framed posters all over the walls and a strong 1950s feel. My visit there was filled with sun shining through all the windows, which made the place even more welcoming and warm.
The menu nods to a slight American good-food trend and is largely destined for breakfast, brunch and lunch meals. It includes some classics – eggs Benedict, Florentine and Royale, muesli and full English; and some surprising options such as pancakes with Speculoos sauce – which, outside of Belgium, I’ve only ever seen in New York so far – pancakes with grilled bacon and maple syrup, and pastrami and sauerkraut on rye bread.
The great thing about ordering eggs here is that you don’t have to necessarily get two, which means that you can mix and match or, if like me, you find the cake counter too inviting to resist, you can just have one, and leave a little room for dessert.
Speaking of cake… their selection is very rich and inventive, and when faced with the impossible choice between Hungarian bread and butter pudding with a spongy meringue topping and white chocolate and orange cheesecake, the kind man behind the counter sensed the mild panic that took over me so he offered I’d have half a slice of each. “Can I really do that?!” They were both even better than I expected, but the cheesecake won my heart. Their cake and sweet bakery selection, however, is ever changing, so it is worth going back every now and again to try different desserts.
Other than that, I had an egg Florentine, which was spinach-rich and helped me feeling less guilty about my second “course”, and Rol had a full English – the sausages were very flavoursome and herby.
The only tiny teeny ickle downside about this great place is the wait. I think we had to wait about 25 minutes for our breakfast, which is not an eternity, but it feels worse than it is if you are borderline ravenous due to the previous night’s antics.
I am definitely looking forward to going back, as I am yet to try their Nordic meatballs with lingonberry and beetroot sauce.
If you are in Hackney, give this place a go, it won’t disappoint.