Sunday, 25 March 2012

Market Cafe: a welcome addition to Broadway

When I went to La Vie en Rose between Christmas and New Year the food was so absolutely terrible that it came as no surprise to me a few weeks later when its doors were shut for the very last time.  The place lay empty for around a month or so and then the builders moved in - someone else was going to give it a shot.

Market Cafe opened at the beginning of March and, if the bustling tables are anything to go by, has been a bit of a hit with the Hackney hipsters.  For, while Broadway has many eating options, there is nothing to fill the market between cheap and cheerful (Solche Cilician etc) at one end and Buen Ayre (an Argentinian steak house) at the other.  The Market Cafe does just that.


I have now been three times, once for breakfast and twice for dinner.  The food has been mostly good and you would have to think that, when they have settled into a rhythm, this place will go from strength to strength.

At breakfast the Fashionista had the homemade granola, fruit and yoghurt- sadly lacking much in the way of fruit.  I had the truffled rarebit on sourdough - mature melted cheese doused in truffle oil, not the healthiest way to start a weekend, but I loved it.





On my first evening visit I had the chicken al mattone and chips (an old recipe in which the chicken is cooked under weights leaving the skin crispy and the meat juicy).  Unforutunately the chicken, although nicely flavoured, was dry and the chips not up to much.  It could really have done with some greens as well (UPDATE: I have been told that this dish now comes with a side of wilted spinach).  LJC had the lamb with polenta and slow cooked carrots - all absolutely delicious.  The Ginger Weegie had the same dish on the second visit and it was a repeat sucess.

Undeterred by the chicken, which I think may have been the result of a very busy restaurant (the press were in that evening we were told), I headed along again last night. This time the Fashionista had the pasta and "meat sauce" (minced pork on that day) - nicely done although nothing spectacular.  I had the Tuscan sausage and bean casserole which came atop a crispy piece of sourdough and with a hunk of slow cooked pork belly. A really great dish which left me wanting more.

A month in and I can see Market Cafe shaping up to be a stallwort of the Broadway scene for years to come. Three visits in as many weeks says all you need to know, this place does simple hearty food in a friendly atmosphere - you can't ask much  more than that from your local eatery.  

Market Cafe on Urbanspoon

8 comments:

  1. Hey, you know what? I went for the Chicken Al Mattone over the weekend. Instead of chips, it was roasted potato. And they even throw in some karl! Looks like they've incorporated your suggestion. The chicken, it was real juicy as well :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad to hear it - it was so close but just not quite there when I had it. The other things I have had have been great though so thought they would turn it around...

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