Hello, NGOTCB is back! Yes, it has been a year since I last blogged (hides behind hands…) but I have a good excuse. And it goes like this: Julian and I now have a permanent plus-one and her name is Jasmine. And she’s delish. With a baby in tow, my attempts at cooking have taken a bit of a back seat. Right now it’s all about finding great local cafes and restaurants that feed me.
Step forward, ten. ten is a new family-run cafe-restaurant in my neighbourhood of Hornsey/Crouch End. Not only does it do wonderful coffee and pastries in the morning – something Hornsey has been lacking for tiiime – it has an all-day and night food and drink menu that wouldn’t look out of place in one of those trendy no-booking Soho eateries (the ones I used to frequent once upon a time!)
I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve now done breakfast, lunch and dinner at ten – plus, coffee, croissants and cocktails. And they were all brilliant, because what you get from this place is quality ingredients and dishes made with loads of TLC. Being a family-run venture, you know that the chefs really care about the food they put out there. Breakfast granola, for example is not just any old granola, it looks like this…
The menu isn’t just full of the standards you’d expect from a local cafe, either. It boasts ingredients such as quince and quail eggs – and there’s a special cheese and wine board, too. Dinner options include an extremely tasty chicken escalope with house salsa and mash; and baked salmon with kale and new potatoes. Its breakfast menu (priced from about £4.50 to £8) doesn’t just do yer standard full English and veggie options, it boasts ‘eggs ten’ – yummy scrambled eggs, salmon, avocado and mushrooms on sourdough; and spinach and tomato bake, all garlicky and spicy like my old fave, shakshuka. But if you want a full English, you can have it, it just won’t come swimming in grease.
The Sunday lunches (£11-£13 a pop) boast that little bit extra, too. Along with your roast root veg and huge hunks of quality pork belly, chicken or beef – sourced from local butchers – you’ll get a ramekin of homebaked cauliflower and broccoli cheese and as much tasty gravy as you want. Yum.
And the cocktails. Along with its own house cocktail – containing premium gin, Prosecco and elderflower – ten does the best espresso martinis this side of Oblix at The Shard. Not sparing any detail, the martinis always come with three delicately placed coffee beans and really do hit the spot, particularly handy for sleep-deprived new parents. Though never before 11am of course. Oh, and they do 2for1 between 5 and 7pm.
And if you want to come here and work during the week, you can. It has complimentary wi-fi to go with your coffee and cake. ten is all about the details and its attention to detail makes it stand out from the pack.
It’s also a great informal little hangout to come with friends (see picture above), family and BABIES (see above-above)!!! It’s decked out stylishly while not being over-designed and you’re almost always guaranteed a table if you’re passing by. It is worth booking for Sunday lunch, however. What with my old faves Pomodoro and Shiso and ten around the corner, Hornsey is becoming a vibrant little hub, definitely worth the bus or tube ride if you’re not from round here. Fortunately, for me and my dark circles, I am!