Monday, 19 November 2012

Best cafes: The Delauney, London, WC2








A mere Olympian javelin throw from Muesli Lover WC favourite, Fleet River Cafe, lies an altogether different prospect. The Delauney.

My man TRE (as he is known) invited me there for an early birthday breakfast before work. That arc of Aldwych is a fine London area featuring the church in the middle, Somerset House one side, and hotels and The Delauney on the other. It is an imposing building but the restaurant is discreetly signposted. Two powerful grey columns invite you into the wood-panelled entrance...from which you enter the, frankly, enormous room!

 Mr Muesli Lover isn't that cool but the dark wood, low lighting and art deco theme was pretty "rad". This is definitely old-sCOOL (did I just invent that?). As was the large table of golden, fresh pastries which you walked past as you were shown to the table.

Excellent service and one industrial strength pot of coffee set me up nicely to tackle the menu... which was perfectly proportioned. Enough to intrigue me but not too much to vex me or confuse as to what meal I was about to consume. Nonetheless, there was no decision to be made. Kippers with mustard butter. Oh yes.

TRE was concerned about fish related aroma issues later in the day which can be an issue, especially when cooking in one's home. I felt confident this place wouldn't let me down. The kipper was served very simply: knob of butter on top and half a lemon. Toast as a side.

It was as mouth-watering and juicy as grilled omega 3s can possibly be. The kipper tasted alive. In a good way. A golden way. A mustard butter way (which the lemon cut through at just the right level). In a great taste but no lingering fishy fish fish way. Very fleshy and not too boney, as the photo above illustrates it was comprehensively consumed.

TRE had something else, it looked good. His plate was also clean. Whatever, you cannot beat a good kipper but it is surprising how easy it is to mess it up. Especially when you consider the only instructions are probably "grill"... The Delauney does it well* and it does the setting even weller. I mean, better. Go there!

*Mr Muesli Lover is not known for excessive enthusiasm but I think on this occasion he would say it is the best kipper he has paid for.

Details: 55 Aldwych London, Greater London WC2B 4BB; www.thedelaunay.com; tel.020 7499 8558. Open from 7am weekdays, 8am Saturdays & 11am Sundays

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