Sunday, 9 February 2014

J + A Cafe - Clerkenwell

J + A Cafe - Clerkenwell
On a Sunday morning, this cafe just off Clerkenwell road feels a bit in the middle of nowhere. We had walked up through the Farringdon/Smithfield area of city, past many new, highly rated restaurants and a few very fashionable chain eateries (most of which were shut because it was Sunday and very quiet). Then, we went through a passage into a small courtyard we found J + A café and I half expected us to be the only people in there! But I was very wrong; downstairs was packed and we were taken upstairs which was also busy. The exposed brick, minimalist look with school chairs and mismatch tables allows for a relaxed atmosphere.

The menu has a distinct Irish feel to it and the fry-up was no exception as it included boxty (an Irish potato pancake) and Clonikilty black pudding. For £9.50 you also got a sausage, 2 rashers of bacon, two fried eggs, half a large flat mushroom, grilled tomato and sourdough toast.

The quality of the ingredients really defines what this place is about. It appears they have put a lot of effort into sourcing from small suppliers as it evident from their website, which lists out where the ingredients come from. Even down to the Tiptree brown sauce (which is much sweeter than HP and pairs extremely well with the black pudding), it seems everything has been researched and considered.

So if I was to find fault, the eggs were well cooked, but maybe a little small, the bacon could have been crispier to bring out the flavour and I would always want beans on the plate. But overall I was very impressed and thoroughly enjoyed it!

This is set up to be a brunch spot at the weekend, with a broad breakfast/brunch menu serving until 3pm. I was dining with friends who had a variety of dishes, all of which received high praise.

The verdict
A quality Irish fry up, which is no secret judging by the fact this place was packed out!


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