Well, actually we googled-across-this. We Time Out review-read-across-this. We checked-the-website-and-confirmed-we-liked-it-across-this. This is The Counter Cafe. Found in the largely out of the way and under explored Hackney Wick, the cafe is on the canal front and an absolute gem of a find. We cycled along the canal to get there and with it being new territory and so peaceful, added to the experience. Once there, I set about my customary taking of photos - a good sign, meaning that I like the look of place.
Which I certainly do. Old cinema style seating used in the entrance area, clustered around wood block tables.
Exposed brick walls, hanging art, (and screen printed t-shirts), outdoor seating, and most importantly a chalk board menu with a mouth watering and varied menu.
I plumped for the poached egg & salmon on crispy potato cakes with a plum relish. It was great - a style of breakfast I hadn't had before. The eggs were perfect and the homemade relish complimented the potato and salmon perfectly, making it quite rich but not too much so.
Kelly went for, (rather unoriginally in my view!), eggs benedict with ham. Her eggs were also cooked to perfection, but the breakfast lost marks for untoasted muffins, making them quite difficult to cut and too soggy. Also, whilst the hollondaise was good, there was too much of it, slightly overpowering the balance of the meal.
But these were relatively minor faults on an otherwise great breakfast for both of us. A good deal of newspaper reading was done post meal, along with more coffee, (dark & bitter - cared for in typical fashion by the antipodean owners).
Speaking of the staff, they were clearly passionate about trying to create a diverse menu and food that matched it, but whilst maintaining a smile and helpfulness that was appreciated. Add in that they're also pretty cool boys & girls, then there can be no complaints.
In fact, even the music was agreeable and played at the right volume. Incredible! In short, it was worth the bike ride to reach it and scores highly on my breakfast chart.
After jumping back on our bikes, we agreed that a return visit will be very close around the corner.