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Cafe Tramp Restaurant

Restaurants, British Green Lanes
2 out of 5 stars
Hugh Flouch
Hugh Flouch

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

A kitsch north London eatery that could benefit from paying more attention to the kitchen than the decor

Nobody takes pleasure in knocking a restaurant that hasn’t found its feet yet – and that’s our hope for this oddball, quarter-there Green Lanes restaurant: that its problems are of the teething variety. Sitting at the Finsbury Park end of this neighbourhood’s Vegas-style ocakbasi strip of Turkish joints, Café Tramp aspires to high-end, semi-fussy modern European cooking, but its menu also stretches into brunch, high-tea and even cocktails.

The all-things-for-all-folk approach sounded alarm bells, and rightly so: when we visited for dinner on a Sunday, the food was average at best and the service chaotic (including one entirely forgotten order). A main course advertised as ‘lamb shank’ was delivered as lamp chops – and the bill informed us that we’d ordered them ‘medium well’ (we hadn’t; we hadn’t even ordered them). Precision isn’t the restaurant’s strong point: sparkling water arrived as still; a ‘lobster salad’ turned out, yes, to include lobster but it also came with several mussels and a razor clam. At least the mains were adequate, which can’t be said for the starters. Of three dishes – padrón peppers, octopus with vegetables and croquettes containing wild mushroom and chorizo – only the first could be labelled vaguely acceptable.

None of this would be so remarkable if Café Tramp Restaurant (Is it a café? Restaurant? Decide!) wasn’t aiming to be more than another mediocre local bistro, judging by its prices: most mains cost between £17 and £24. If a whiff of white elephant arrives with the food, it becomes pungent when you consider the decor. The place is crammed with recycled kitschy furniture and fixtures: the ceiling originates from a burnt-out pub on the Edgware Road; the toilets could have been transplanted wholesale from a museum of Victorian life (we liked the toilet called ‘The Clencher’); and there are enough frilly lampshades to make Hyacinth Bucket blush. Like the menu, it’s all too much: distracting packaging housing little inside. We hope things get better, soon.


Address: 361 Green Lanes
N4 1DY
Transport: Harringay Green Lanes rail
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