I tried to be good, but the card machine had it in for me, a review of Mocca SE3

No really. It was time to start losing the past 2 years weight. Atlanta – I blame you. And also Pret A Manger chocolate and almond butter cookies, oh well, yes and their sundried tomato and egg breakfast baguette. And I suppose I should stop baking spicy cakes with cream frosting, so yeah, mostly just Atlanta.

 I need a lot of sympathy. I limped to Mocca, totally like limped. This was limping from the surgery to the chemist, to find that the chemist didn’t open on time, and I had no interest in limping back home before limping back out again. People look at you when you limp  – in a kind of, ‘time you left London, dear’ sort of a way. 

And I ordered a coconut cappuccino which is already a direction that makes me nervous… but it was that or soya… just as I saw the quaint sign that said ‘minimum spend £5.’ (Me and Mocca, neither of us deserve to be in London) And I had already ordered, and there was no where else warm to wait, and there was an orange chocolate bread pudding square just sat all lonely in the glass counter…. Looking At Me.

So I thought, I have a limp, I deserve cake. But do you know what my brain said, it said ‘that’s not an excuse, carry on like this and nothing in your wardrobe will fit.’ I really thought that. My brain should get a certificate. I thought, ‘there will be another solution to this £5 conundrum, there really will be.’

But I looked. And there wasn’t. Just all those icing sugared italian pastry delights. And the cake was still looking at me. And the waitress was looking at me. And if their had been a queue, it would have been looking at me too. You know that look. And after all, the GP had just confirmed that I hadn’t got gout, so my unhealthy lifestyle was clearly doing me no real harm at all. AND I NEEDED TO SPEND FIVE POUNDS.

It was a terribly patient waitress who waited out me having this internal dialogue…. partially outloud. 

As I sat down, (everyone was still looking at me, but because of the limp now) I thought. This was a mistake. That lonely bread pudding was clearly a last night left over and it will be horrible. But it wasn’t. It was gooey and sweet and everything that a chocolate orange bread pudding really should be. I finished every last crumb. I sipped my cappuccino which was surprisingly good for all that coconut and I perused my surroundings and I thought. Nice place this.

A quick note on that coffee. It was good coffee. And I am coffee fussy. Remember Fosters that Mocca replaced? That was bad coffee. The world has become an incrementally better place. In an extraordinarily localised fashion. 

Do I regret this trip, which, as it turned out, due to some trouble in the Blackwall tunnel, still meant I had to limp home before limping back for painkillers? And was actually delicious and well served (Um, yeah. Kinda.)

(Don’t forget, you can preorder, my debut novel “Helen & the a Grandbees” here: 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=Alex+Morrall&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

The Most Important Meal of the Day

A review of Boulangerie Jade SE3 on the Blackheath Standard

http://www.boulangeriejade.com/welcome

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the opinions of nutritionists. Breakfast is really the most important meal of the day because it is the downright most funnest. At what other time of the day can one  eat cake and pastry as a main course, or instead choose spicy eggs, or maybe all of the above because there are no rules on courses, all washed down with the biggest of coffee bombs, because you don’t have to worry about caffeine keeping you awake?

Or maybe you choose cereal. I don’t judge you. I I feel pity.

Boulangerie Jade in the Blackheath Standard understands breakfast with its  suitably diverse menu leaving you flummoxed (and hungry) for a good chunk of time while you debate whether you are going down the savoury route or the sweet route.

I went for the Mackerel tartine.

Mackerel Tartine at the Boulangerie Jade on Blackheath Standard

I’m a big fan of mackerel me. This was pleasant, and different, which is what I’m always looking for, but maybe not full of the huge flavours i was craving. There was horseradish as promised in the accompanying creme fraiche, but only just. and only discernible after having a good glug of water to clear the palate.

Another time I’m trying that considerably unhealthier sounding toulouse sausage roll. Here was my husband’s choice:

Service from our initial visit has upped its game. Losing the frosty looks if you glance at a waitress about your twenty minute delay on your eggs, and the arrival of bacon that does been cooked to the beer mat consistency plus the constant implication that your presence is generally really really annoying being welcome improvements. So the harsh trip advisor status may yet improve.

My only disappointment was the constant promise that the cakes (from the Jade bakery) were on their way. It has to be said, Jade cakes are very very good cakes – all the ones I have tasted. They were on their way through out the whole meal. They were still on their way when we had to give up and leave and go about their business (with a sourdough loaf of course). Not all of my business is sitting in coffee shops you know.

The ginger lamb was just wow. Wow!

A review of eating out at Sun Ya, Blackheath Standard

Pre-planning and much debate is necessary when deciding what to order on an all you can eat menu. Which is tough when you are starving. We considered that ordering 3 mains between the two of us could be justified by sharing hot and sour meat soup. I am glad we shared this. The soup was a soup but it was not all that hot or sour. Also it had prawns in it.

 

I’m going to skip through the starters else we’ll be here all night: they were ok. And the crispy duck was delicious, but crispy duck sits in that rare and fatty selection of foods that is hard to prepare in a non-delicious way.download full film iBoy

 

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What followed was excellent, a flurry of savoury flavours supported by smokey chicken chow mein and special fried rice. The chilli beef, nice as it was, was the low light, a little two dimensional, those dimensions being deep-friededness and chilli. Obviously the Hong Kong style sweet and sour had at least one more dimension (the first 2 being sweet and sour) and along with the crunch of the deep fry and the addition of actual whole vegetables meant that it reached a harmonic for me. (Excuse the mixed metaphors.) And the ginger lamb was just wow. Wow!

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The only catch to all this excitement was that the three main dishes to share arrived about ten minutes before my husband had leave for a meeting. Most of the eating had to be accomplished by me. It was six o’clock on a week day. I quickly calculated that I had 4 hours of eating until bedtime.

So I sat along amongst the fabric flowers and gold wall paper pondering how I was going to achieve completion of the task and whether the waiters thought we’d had a food war (the table was a bit messy) and split up. I have a confession to make. Other than a smattering of rice on the table cloth (a large smattering) mission was completed.

Yes, it showed on the scales

Mouthful of cake, swig of coffee. Savour. A Review of Mara Interiors

Now there is a mini-review of Mara Interiors on my blog already. They are actually an interior designers who happen to sell cake and coffee to chat over rather than an actual coffee shop. So it always felt a bit like cheating to write about them. Also, the owner worked out that I am the that coffee shop blogger, which always felt a little intimidating. It’s so much easier to let my opinion run free when no one knows who you are.

However I have had such consistently pleasant visits there that I thought it was worth a revisit. especially as recently they have been moving their cake selections from solely Boulangerie Jade (which you know I love) to one made no other vendors. In particular this week we discovered these tea cakes (I believe the name is)

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Why have I only got a picture of half of a tea cake…? Because I couldn’t stop myself diving in. This blog, you followers, I forgot you all when faced by the tea cakes and the knife to tuck in… So I don’t even have any evidence of the raspberry one to share with you.

Was it good? Yeeeess it was good. But the one you do have a photo of is even better. The honey and lavender one that was in the words of the baker’s husband ‘less elaborate’ with only a layer of thin icing was fabulous. The best, full of subtle flavours and sugar. I liked. Mouthful of cake. Swig of coffee. Savour. Do something else for a couple of minutes. Repeat. It is necessary to get the balance between enjoying the cake and making the experience last as long as possible.

Very good coffee by the way. And sitting in an interior design shop you do get much nicer seats than in many of Blackheath’s options.

180 Westcombe Hill
Blackheath
London
SE3 7DH

Mocca Coffee Shop, It replaced Fosters. Easy to tell.

A Review of Moca, coffee shop and deli in Blackheath Standard

I have been neglecting Moca: I visit. I eat at Moca with friends who ask me if this will appear in the blog … and somehow it never does.

 

Perhaps this is because it took me ages to actually try the coffee. It’s never been a coffee moment when I land there. It feels unjust for a coffee blogger to opine without actually trying the coffee.

Or maybe I just can’t think of anything to say about it. it’s neither ‘out there’ or ‘back here’.

It’s at a sort of at a moderate distance.

Actually, they do serve Portuguese tarts. Portuguese tarts are great.

Actually, they do serve Portuguese tarts. Portuguese tarts are great.

I can provide a brief history of Mocca. Moca replaced Foster’s. It’s easy to tell: it now has a big shiny red banner instead of a run down yellow banner. However more importantly, this change in ownership replaced peculiar little polystyrene cups with some frothy brown and white stuff in with cappuccinos, REAL cappuccinos and lattes. I don’t quite understand why they used to be so bad because the last owners were Italian and did have a propa cappa maka. But I do have the absolute recollection of actually binning a cappuccino from Foster’s one cold morning.

Well, I can assure you all that the change in ownership means that everything has undergone a thorough upgrade, with smart brown seats and semi-deli provisions. I think they even use butter on their sandwiches now. The sandwiches are nice. There are freshly squeezed juices of all mixes on demand and flatbreads with interesting fillings. In fact all of the savoury offerings have proved enjoyable, served by the upbeat staff, albeit in occasionally freezing conditions (because they open the back door to cool down the kitchen).

Moca Interior

Moca Interior

I recently discovered the another reason why I had not reviewed Mocca. Other than the litle bite sized italian sweets, the cakes are nothing special. And cakes are meant to be special, right? Even if you are a Victoria Sponge eater (and I judge you not for your undemanding taste buds) the very name, Victoria (that’s Victoria as in big time monarch of the British empire- wore lots of big dresses) implies special. You don’t want to look at the cake counter and think, yeah well maybe next time. And I do at Mocca. I feel adequately nourished for lunch, and walk away thinking, at least the waistline hasn’t grown.

Two more great places for coffee and more at Blackheath Standard.. With reviews
The Scullery http://wp.me/p2yXJS-gd
Mara interiors http://wp.me/p2yXJS-c7

Mocca Coffee Shop, It replaced Fosters. Easy to tell.
A Review of Moca, coffee shop and deli in Blackheath Standard I have been neglecting Moca: I visit. I eat…