Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Market Coffee House review Spitalfields Brushfield Street - cosy English cafe restaurant


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Address: 50/52 Brushfield Street,
London E1 6AG
Tel: 020 7247 4110
Nearest Tube station: Liverpool Street

Ratings (out of 5 *) Price: Below £20 pp
Service charge: 10%
Taste: ****
Service: ***
Ambience: ****
Given a choice, I would prefer very much to work in the City proper than Canary Wharf, not least that the Wharf area reminded me of a more staid Raffles Place back home. I’m sure you would agree that the Square Mile comes up tops when it comes to dining choices. That’s especially true when it comes to the Bishopgate area.

Over at Bishopgate, you have choices ranging from small Japanese outfit like Tsuru to traditional English like St John Bread and Wine and steak houses such as Hawksmoor. One particular restaurant cafe that I normally frequent is Market Coffee House.

Market Coffee House, which sits in the intersection of Brushfield Street and Crispin Street used to be more of a coffee place than a proper sit down restaurant. Customers looking for a cuppa would queue up at the counter to place their orders, very much like Starbucks et al. Recently, Market Café has upped its game and converted itself into a full service restaurant.

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We dropped by the other day for a quick dinner. In the absence of burgers on the menu (at least I didn’t see one), I opted for the salt beef sandwich (£10). While it tipped towards the pricey side, the salt beef was rather substantial and packed a mouthful.

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A notice stuck on Market Coffee House's entrance caught Wife’s attention - “6 oyster fritters!” and she ordered just that. We were amazed at how small the dish was. Half a dozen of oyster fritters were stacked on top of one another on a small plate, which was too small even for a tapas. The presentation could be less stark. At £12 per portion, surely Market Coffee House could throw in some salad leaves?

That said, those oyster fritters were soft, light and lemony. An absolute delight in the dead of winter. This would be a great finger food accompanied by a pint or two.

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Market Coffee House took on a different setting as the day drew dark. The cosy setting complemented by the dim lighting and heavy wooden interior gave it a comfy feeling that we could all afford when the temperature dipped across London. Perfect if you are looking for a quiet dinner for two.

Market Coffee House on Urbanspoon

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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

This cafe has a great atmosphere however its very expensive for what you get.

there are better places around - for the same money you can get better food and service at st johns,

C K said...

@Anon,
It can get quite pricey at Market Coffee House. However, I am under the impression that St John is a bit more expensive, no?

Also, the service at St John is really a hit and miss. The last time when I was there, the service could be better.

Any other restaurants in the area that you would recommend?

TomEats said...

St John's is a bit of a different kettle of fish as well...

Anyway beautiful evocative pictures!

C K said...

@Tom,
Thanks!

While I wouldn't hesitate to bring a less adventurous diner to Market Coffee House (prices aside), St John's is an acquired taste really.

Swedish Meatball said...

While I've walked past this place so many times I've never actually been inside. Looks nice and cosy, thanks for the review!

C K said...

@Swedish Meatballs,
No prob, thanks for stopping by! Do try out the oyster fritters when you are there

Anonymous said...

I love this place, i dont think it's pricey compared to places like St Johns and Galvins. I have never had a disapointing meal there before and the staff are always pleasant and helpful. The best day to go for dinner is monday because they now have great live music. Also i love going for afternoon tea, those little cakes are to die for!

C K said...

@Anon,
Like Tom pointed out earlier, Market Coffee House isn't exactly the same league as St John either, isn't it? :)

While I welcome the change in menu and all but there's now one less 'cheap eats' in the area during weekday lunches.