Saturday, 21 January 2012

The Nightingale Cafe - it's heaving!

Let's be clear, this visit was to the Nightingale Cafe on Balham High Road. Not the Nightingale Pub on Nighingale Lane.

I used to go to this cafe quite a bit a few years ago as it always had good service and was usually pretty quiet so I could be sure of a seat and plenty of time to read the paper.

Some things have changed though, well one thing in particular, it was massively busy. We managed to get a seat on the couch at the front straight away but most of the time there was a queue of people waiting. It was Saturday lunch time though so that's probably to be expected. The queue was reasonably well managed, although you get the impression they're not so used to having a big queue.

So the order:
1 single espresso
1 small capuccino
1 small mocha
1 eggs royale
1 falafel wrap

Followed by a pastice de nada and a piece of passion cake.

The espresso smelt a bit dirty, not sure what the technical term is for that but it was not quite right, but not offensive. It was tasty though, a relatively easy drinking espresso, not too challenging on the palate (boy do I sound like a coffee snob now!).

I waited till after I'd eaten to have my cappuccino, it was still hot so that was good. The coffee was fine, again not going to get any coffee connoisseur raving but it was nice, easy drinking. The cap was decent, quite strong, loads of choc on top. I was happy.

By all accounts the mocha was good too as the coffee flavour wasn't dominated by chocolate.

Food was good, it's very reasonably priced. The eggs royale is good for £6.50 or whatever it was, it's not going to be the best you've ever had but at that price you shouldn't expect it to be. The sweets were fine as well, nothing to write home about but good enough.

I think what really makes this place, and why it was so busy is the atmosphere, it's had a great fit out, open kitchen, service is super quick, it's very reasonably priced. So lots going for it, and so long as you're not snooty about your coffee or food it's a really great place to go for a coffee or meal.

Scores on the doors...

Hot: 8/13
Aroma: 5/13
Flavour: 6/13
Texture: 7/13
Presentation: 7/13

Service: 10/13
Food: 8/13
Location/atmosphere: 11/13

Overall 8/13 (I hope this doesn't seem low to anyone, we had a great time and will def be back again soon)

The Nightingale Patisserie & Café on Urbanspoon


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  2. My one and only foray into The Nightingale was one cold winter morning for an English breakfast. They didn't serve bacon with any of their dishes. They didn't know what a hash brown was. I haven't been back since.