Bex Salmon dives into a retro cafe in Primrose Hill
I’ve been watching the journey of the newly opened Sam’s Café in the smart and cool streets of Primrose Hill from the sidelines. So when I got the op to nip in and fill my foodie boots, I wore my biggest pair.
Welcomed by smiles and cheery staff we were off to a great start. We were seated in a booth. I love a booth. Retro, funky with a subtle level of privacy not afforded by dozens of tables – we perused the menus a while because they’re choice heavy with a health conscience too.
We loved that several dishes had proper names: Ruby, Nell, Andy, Sam and Oona. Everyone in the family gets a slice of their own personal involvement. We were definitely feeling the love..
Barry’s’ Builders tea turned out to be bloody good strong tea and us being the romantics we are we love to imagine that Barry refurbished this retro Americanesque glory single-handedly.
Sue went salad. No disappointment, just delight. She chose a fabulously executed crab salad – fresh crunchy spinach, a smattering of spring onion and a crunchable suggestion of pine nuts to vary the texture. Complemented by an easy dressing of crème fraiche meaning the crab was entirely the dominant, divine and succulent flavour you’d hope for. A generous portion, more-or-less inhaled by an appreciative palate, in between sips of Barry’s brew.
I went feet first in to Andy’s veggie full English. Ooh, that was a festival of food – a plateful of flavours that managed each other rather beautifully. Presentation was smashing and the twin eggs were like Caribbean sunsets – organic and fried to soft-yolk perfection with zero excess oil. Baked beans housed in their own little receptacle so as not to soggy up the king size veggie sausage and friends, with a pillow of perfect, steamed-to-al-dente spinach.
I was with the sauce police.
‘Ketchup?’ says Sue. ‘With beans?’
So I was shamed in to reaching for the HP. I was immediately transported to seven years old at my nanas house. How have I missed that subliminal breakfast essential for so long? Well I’ll be resident in an HP bottle with my Full English, veggie or carnivorous, forever more.
We dined to the Rockola Princess Jukebox vinyl tunes (particularly September in the Rain; Dinah Washington is, after all, a perfect dining partner) and we enjoyed every morsel.
A slight step back in time, a present tense menu and a clutch of staff who are truly charming – this is worth the trip if you’re not local and if you are local then lucky, lucky you.
RESTAURANT CLUB CARDHOLDERS GET A DISCOUNT AT SAM’S CAFE. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS