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Adjoining a shop crammed with Scandinavian antiques, this café has a delightful ad hoc feel, with a scatter of mismatched tables and any number of period curios on the walls. There’s nothing slapdash about the South-east Asian cooking, however. Portions are big, from nicely seasoned edamame beans to veggie dumplings with a heap of bean sprouts and salad, and the flavours in a fiery chicken laksa made with tender udon noodles were deep and satisfying.
There’s porridge or toast at breakfast, and a fine range of pretty cakes on the counter (lemon drizzle, red velvet, carrot, chocolate brownies), plenty of teas (served in a delicate pot with handle-less tea cup), own-made lemonade and well-chosen alcohol – wine, Tsing Tao and Beer Lao, or Pimm’s. Quarters is thronged with local mums during the day (though the tiny toilet is hardly suited to baby-changing) and recently diversified into evening opening, with a three-course set menu (dumplings or noodle salad, noodle soup for main, cakes to finish) for just over a tenner.
Service is charming and the atmosphere could hardly be more relaxed, with 6Music on the stereo and arty freesheets scattered about.
267 Archway Road
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