By now, everyone who follows our Instagram and Snapchat stories will know that I am something of a raging coffeeholic. For me, coffee isn’t so much a drink as it is a way of life, and if you were to ask me whether, in the event of a fire, I would save my espresso machine or my family first, I would probably get in trouble for my answer. Such is my love for coffee, that I have constantly romanticised about owning my own coffee shop, despite knowing deep down that it’s an unrealistic ambition. Or is it?
In 2015, Hackney-born baker Amirah and her brother Feroz opened the aptly-named Bake Street cafe in Stoke Newington, and since then, they’ve been living the very dream that I have been yearning for. In the short few years that Bake Street has been open, it has grown into something of a local sweetheart, and as one of the few cafes in London to serve both specialty-grade coffee and halal food, they fell firmly within my line of sight.
Whilst Amirah heads up the shopfront and plots on cakes, bakes, and other dastardly ways to keep me in a day-job, her brother Feroz takes charge in the kitchen, plating up various breakfast dishes and lunch bites from Bake Street’s dynamic menu.
Having dragged Steak along for a mid-morning brunch, I ordered the chakka breakfast – a bowl of soft poached eggs on a bed of tomato, spinach, and chilli oil sauce, served with tzatziki yoghurt and a helping of sourdough toast. Rich and wonderfully sharp, the tomato-based sauce did well to tickle the tastebuds, whilst its light and oily consistency paired perfectly with the crusty sourdough toast, and the crisp leaves of spinach. After a couple of failed Boomerang videos, I had spilled the glorious, oozing yolk into the mixture, and together with the subtle, spicy touch of the thick turkish sausage, this created a vibrant concoction of Mediterranean flavours.
Chakka breakfast (£8 + £1.50 Turkish sausage) *Recommended*
My satisfaction soon turned to envy however, as Steak’s order of “Eggs del toro” was far more alluring. Two toasted English muffins sat side by side, topped with chipotle sausage patties, poached eggs, and a heap of roasted salsa, avocado, lime hollandaise and coriander sauce. The thick and succulent patties possessed an optimal level of seasoning, whilst the sharp and creamy lime hollandaise proved to be a unique sensory experience in its own right. Having realised that Steak had made the better breakfast choice, I made sure to stare her down until she handed some over to me.
Eggs del Toro (£9) *Must-Eat*
Soon enough, we had returned to Bake Street for yet another brunch feast, and I proceeded to order the new “fried chicken benedict”. Composed of crispy berbere fried chicken, soft poached eggs, a sharp lime hollandaise, sweet salsa, and a spicy sriracha mayo, this was simply a symphony of texture and taste.
Fried Chicken Benedict (£12) – *Must-Eat*
Steak meanwhile, had ordered the “cinnabun pancakes”. Here, we encountered a set of delightful malted buttermilk pancakes, served with a thick and rich coffee maple caramel, and a scoop of cream cheese frosting. Quite frankly, every element of this creation sat at the pinnacle point of richness and sweetness, without once becoming overbearing or excessive.
Cinnabun Pancakes (£9) – *Must-Eat*
As we had learnt at the Fire & Smoke Supperclub, Amirah has a certain way with chantilly cream. Keen to see whether she could follow up on the glorious desserts served that day, we tried a chocolate cupcake, which was so ridiculously soft and fluffy, that it could have been likened to a chocolate cloud.
However, it was only when we dug into the lemon bar that our minds were truly blown away. Whilst many lemon-based desserts end up being too sweet, too sour, or just plain sickening, this simple bake proved to be utterly divine. As we sank our teeth into it, we were greeted by a thick, gooey, and phenomenally sharp lemon curd, which followed on to a firm shortcrust base. The concentrated tartness oozed over the tastebuds, stinging and soothing them simultaneously as its presence spread across the senses, and in that very moment, I declared it to be the best lemon-based dessert that I have come across thus far.
Fluffy cupcakes, rich lemon bars and gooey pecan pies.
Alongside these delectable goods, Bake Street serves up the highly popular Climpson Estate blend, and we each ordered a pair of rich, silky flat whites to round off our brunch.
I also ordered an espresso, which, though a little thin in body and mouthfeel, retained the sharp citrus zest and the sweet notes of chocolate and orange for which the Estate blend is known.
Bake Street also serve a range of teas by Chash & Novus, and as I caffeinated myself under the table, Steak tried a “Persian Pomegranate” tea, which was a sharp and refreshing taste of summer.
Persian Pomegranate tea
Value For Money: 4/5
Across the menu, breakfast items range from £4-£12, sandwiches cost £3 to £5, whilst cakes, bakes and coffees cost between £2 to £5. Prices are thus in line with any other coffeeshop in London, and you can be sure to leave Bake Street with a full belly and a relatively full wallet. (Although, that may change once you visit a dentist to deal with the damage).
You can also be sure to receive a rather warm welcome, as the staff members at Bake Street are every bit as friendly as they are laid-back and carefree. Service is also rather efficient, and you shouldn’t be waiting too long for your treats to arrive.
Decor / Ambience: 3.5/5
The cafe itself carries a decor that is both shabby-chic and industrial in nature, with a number of wooden tables and chairs spread across its relatively spacious layout. It’s a remarkably calm and quiet space during the week, and whilst it can get a little busier during the weekend, it wouldn’t be too unreasonable to utilise a small part of it to work, read, or just catch up with friends. Bake Street can be found a short walk away from Rectory Road station, and parking can be found immediately outside on Evering Road, or on side roads, though restrictions do apply on weekdays.
With a unique array of burly breakfasts and toothsome treats, Bake Street is one halal brunch destination that you simply have to visit. Not only have Amirah and Feroz produced a successful little cafe in a remote residential area, but they’ve managed to create a sense of community within it as well. In essence, this is what sets Bake Street apart, and as I strain my eyes and break my back to both save and demolish the public’s teeth, I can take comfort in the fact that it’s perfectly possible to one day take charge of my own homely coffee shop.
Halal status: All the meat served here is halal.
Bake Street Cafe
Address: 58 Evering Road, London N16 7SR
Telephone: 0207 683 7177