In an area that suffers a real dearth of quality cafés, the arrival of this smart deli-cum-bistro is a welcome one. More village green than Willesden Green, its rustic shop front sets it apart from the high street’s plentiful takeaways – it also heralds a cosy interior complete with a communal wooden table and bench seating alongside folding windows.
Brunch is hugely popular here, and though there’s no fry-up on the menu, thick-cut granary bread and quality sausages make for a hearty breakfast sarnie (good value at just £2.15), while a well-executed eggs Benedict is excellent hangover fodder. A range of changing salads, sandwiches and cakes, as well as good coffee, completes the appealing daytime fare.
Come evening, however, things aren’t so rosy. Open several nights a week as a bistro, the deli serves an ambitious menu that has both stars and duds. Our (overwhelmingly huge) portion of potted chicken liver pâté was rich, smooth and moreish. But seared chicken with mushroom sauce went over the top on the fungi, and our fish stew (though crammed with pollock, salmon and shell fish) was too thin to satisfy. The real downer, however, is the deli setting. A look that works fine during the day suddenly feels far too informal in the face of quite pricey, and pretty unexceptional, food.