Brilliant Kids Café held their last children's party few months ago, vacating this site for a more grown-up neighbourhood spot.
It’s now a brasserie serving breakfasts, Sunday brunches and roasts, and Square Mile coffee. Snacks include sausage rolls, leek and goat’s cheese tart with salad, or soup. In the evening the tempo shifts a bit, with the odd table occupied by parties of convivial drinkers, but the majority of customers are local residents grateful for a cosy new place to eat.
The brief menu is modern without being slavish to fashion, and more Nigel than Jamie. A salad of lentils, spinach leaves, green beans, hazelnuts, roasted beetroot and feta perhaps had one ingredient too many, but the result was nonetheless pleasing and, at £7 for a generous portion, good value.
A risotto of fresh peas, broad beans, mint and parmesan wasn’t the sort of dish you’d impress a north Italian with, but for home-style cooking, it was well made and only cost £8.
The rest of the menu follows the simple-but-satisfying route: steak sandwich, lamb rump with rösti, grilled sea bream fillet with salsa verde and roast tomatoes.
Our prune and almond tart (£4) was a decent version, though the scoop of clotted cream accompanying it could have been more generous.
The wine list is brief – perhaps too brief – with six low-priced wines sold by the glass. But these are served in tumblers not proper stemware, which cramps the wine bouquets – so there’s no point in spending on better wines anyway.
The real appeal of 8 Station Terrace is that it’s affordable and has a good atmosphere, helped along by smiling but rather amateur service. When the lights are turned down and the music not too intrusive – the delightful Felix Laband and Nuyorican Soul playing on our visit – it’s a neighbourhood place you’re happy to linger in.