Please note: Counter Cafe is now closed. Time Out Food & Drink Editors, December 2016.
A javelin’s throw from the Olympic Stadium across the canal, this delightfully thrown-together-looking joint behind artists’ studios seems a world away. Arrive for a late lunch and the lack of pies and salads could be excused by the admission that it’s more of a breakfast and brunch spot. (It doesn’t explain the fact that the Anzac biscuit – there’s some Antipodean connection here – and brownie were disappointing.) However, the last remaining pie, an excellent herby lamb number neatly encased in golden flaky pastry with well-dressed rustled-up colourful salad leaves, suggests it’s worth arriving earlier.
An all-day dish of perfectly poached eggs with reassuringly dark golden yolks, topped by smoked salmon, on slightly underpowered potato cakes, made up for lack of more lunch-specific choices. Own-made tomato relish left on the table in kilner jars went well with everything. The flat white is terrific. There’s good music in the ground floor room right on the canal, and peace and quiet and a view of trees and the stadium from squidgy sofas and large tables upstairs. A great place for those in the area or a useful pitstop when exploring a fascinating, evolving area.