Brunch is probably my favourite meal, which I think we should all take more time to appreciate and indulge in. What’s even better in my opinion is when you come across a brunch menu that isn’t filled with the typical dishes that are synonymous with this trendy past time. Smashed avocado on toast is great but let’s be real, we’ve all mastered this to perfection.
Cafe Route has been on my radar following a visit last year with friends for dinner. Two things have always stood out to me following that visit there; the rustic feel with the contrasting wooden furniture and silverware and the way they put their own spin on dishes that we all know and love.
So I was definitely curious when it came to their summer menu and their brunch offerings too.
Brunch buddy in tow, we made our way there.
Food glorious food
I will admit that I didn’t go full blogger mode on my partner in crime for the day – I didn’t ask him to describe the texture, the flavours and how his soul felt after putting his cutlery down (these are important questions!).
I reveled in those familiar touches like their silver water jugs and the chilli bunches hanging majestically over the counter top. We perused the menu noting a number of delicious options. As expected, Cafe Route offer their own spin on absolute classics, which I love like their ‘beet-route royale’, a twist on the classic eggs royale but with a beetroot hollandaise sauce. As much as I would have loved to have thrown caution to the wind and tried it, the Cilbir (Turkish eggs) and a sweet potato salad caught my eye, whilst my brunch buddy opted for the pancakes.
The Cilbir consisted of two poached eggs in garlic yoghurt with tahini, paprika and chickpeas all of which were accompanied by some bread. I loved that the chickpeas were quite crunchy and provided texture to the dish. When it came to the eggs, they were perfectly poached. I’ve become such an egg fiend lately but I rarely have poached eggs, so this was a great treat. I usually don’t like to over do it with yoghurt or mayonnaise but I couldn’t help myself with that hint of garlic. It truly made all the difference. The sweet potato salad paired with chickpeas was a mouthful of goodness. I’ve grown to really love sweet potato and this particular salad with the added tahini drizzle was a delicious side dish to the Cilbir.
As for the pancakes I will admit I had some food envy – here’s why.
The mixture of tahini and pekmez, a molasses like syrup made from the boiled down juices of fruits, provided the right level of sweetness, which complimented the flurry of pistachios, my brunch buddy explained. Overall the dish itself was unexpectedly scrumptious.
‘You have your normal expectations of what a pancake should taste like but the sauce, syrup and pistachios just wasn’t what I expected,’ he said. I did try a little myself and from that small bite, I did indeed get a hint of that sweetness. I’d definitely order and conquer this the next time I visit.
To finish off our brunch we indulged in some coffee and cake! Cafe Route’s banana and caramel cake was the perfect way to round up a delicious Sunday. Even though I’ve been known to knock back the sugar in massive quantities, I’ve started to appreciate that you don’t need an overly sweet dessert for it to be good. This banana and caramel cake sounds like it should be packed with sugar and taste somewhat heavy, but that wasn’t the case. The perfect accompaniment to a latte sealed the deal for me.
A lot of time has been placed into curating the menu for this place, which I personally appreciate and you can tell that the staff care and extend a very hospitable vibe without being too intrusive. Prices are actually very fair for the food you get and it’s conveniently located right next to Dalston Junction station. Expect me brunching and snapping here again very soon!