Daisy Green, London

it was a 3-course brunch deal which i spotted on timeout that prompted me to check this quaint little well-kept secret out; i wouldn’t have known about it otherwise! i guess you could say its slightly off the beaten track given that its not part of the soho congregation of food places, tucked away from the hustle and bustle but still a stone’s throw away from marble arch.

occupying a corner shop along seymour street, i knew i’d like this Aussie cafe one i saw the neon window decor and cute/quirky things they had placed just outside their shop:
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me t(h)ree?
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the first floor consists of a counter (probably busy with takeaway orders during lunch hour on weekdays, i would imagine!) where they prepare their “cold” foods – wraps, frozen yoghurt, sweet treats (cakes, brownies etc) – and drinks, and a few window seats:20140118_11014820140118_134019first floor of daisy green

head down the stairs and you will find yourself in a larger dining area that is split into 2 sections. i loved the whimsical decor down in the basement – it was full of bright, happy colours and really reminded me of the alice in wonderland tea party! if their intended effect was to get people excited and in the mood for good food, then they definitely succeeded (at least for me)! 20140118_11393420140118_112522

here’s the menu (they pride themselves on preparing healthy & quality aussie-style food!):
20140118_112050our amazing timeout voucher allowed us to pay just £25 for £50 worth of food, so we had a lot of eating to be done between the 2 of us. thank goodness the menu had a great range – we were spoilt for choice and didn’t have problems planning our exciting feast 😉

beginning with drinks, i opted for the detox juice (which i thought sounded pretty interesting) while my friend went for the avocado smoothie.
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L: green detox juice – cucumber, celery, spinach, green apple & mint – £3.50
R: avocado smoothie with lemon, yoghurt and agave syrup – £5

we both really liked our drinks! the freshly-squeezed green detox juice (odd and off-putting as it may sound) was extremely refreshing. i normally detest celery (yes, there are things i actually do not particularly enjoy eating heh) but the combination of ingredients in this was such a good mix that the taste of raw celery was almost completely masked! everything tasted so fresh and light and it was something very different from regular juice that you get off the shelves in supermarkets – i know it probably looks a little too green to be appetising for the veggie-averse folks out there, but trust me, this was really good and not to mention super healthy!
as for the avocado smoothie, it was really a taste of home for us because in singapore they do similar avocado juice/milkshake things at hawker centres! we were very pleased – the smoothie was super thick and creamy, and the lemon added a nice twist/lift to avocado that otherwise has the tendency to be quite heavy.

service was really slow that day and our food took quite a while to arrive. i’d like to believe the best and attribute it to the fact that they were very busy and it isn’t normally like that! nevertheless, it was worth the wait! i had the shakshouka while my friend had the bondi.

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shakshouka: baked eggs with tomatoes and spices with a chunk of wholewheat bread + frenched lamb cutlet – £9 + £5

i cannot resist good baked eggs and i was not disappointed with daisy green’s shakshouka rendition! the tomatoes used were fresh and naturally sweet, while the spices added a nice, tasty tunisian lift to the dish. together with the huge chunk of sourdough (which i really enjoyed), this was really satisfying but managed to remain light because of the pure tomato base of the shakshouka. i think i would’ve preferred it to have some kind of meat in it though, because the taste (albeit really good) was pretty much the same throughout the entire pot; adding some meat to the mix would probably have made it even more delicious! (i clearly have not forgotten about the amazing lamb shakshouka i had at artichoke in singapore) it was thus good that i ordered an extra frenched lamb cutlet to go along with my shakshouka. i actually expected it to be bigger since it was an additional £5 but serving-size aside, it was tender, well-seasoned and perfectly grilled – juicy and not dry. the strong taste of lamb that many fear was also absent here!

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the bondi: 2 poached eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, six hour tomatoes & avocado on sourdough + spicy chorizo beans – £12 + £3

this is basically daisy green’s take on the big breakfast. my friend had most of this but i did try components of it – the sausage in particular i remember to be very tasty, crisp skin on the outside, with a really flavourful inside! i also remember the avocado being perfectly ripe and it was a very nice and refreshing addition to the plate amidst all the cooked food. i would order the bondi for the variety it presents on a single plate, but taste-wise i wouldn’t say it was anything exceptional.

the spicy chorizo beans that we added on as a side however, were super yummy:
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chunks of chorizo nestled among beans in a spicy tomato-based sauce made for a perfect addition to our brunch! i really loved these beans which were something different from the regular beans you get at breakfast. they were extremely tasty and went absolutely perfectly with the toast provided! i’ll definitely order this the next time i eat there, as an accompaniment to whatever i’m having!

the servings were pretty big and we were rather full by the time we finished our mains, but i had been eyeing the croissant bread and butter pudding from the moment i spotted it on the menu and so some space just had to be made for it in our stomachs. we were not disappointed at all:
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croissant bread & butter pudding with double cream – £5

one of the best bread and butter puddings ever!!! we LOVED the idea of a croissant bread & butter pudding – it was extremely buttery (as croissants are) and hence more moist than a regular bread & butter pudding. the raisins in it and the crusty top also had parts to play in its deliciousness, and not forgetting the warm double cream that we drenched the whole pudding in. surprisingly it wasn’t too sweet and though dense, it was not heavy; probably because of the fluffiness that the bits of undrenched croissant retained! you can’t really see this from the picture, but it was a very generous serving; we ended up not being able to finish it! i recommend this as a must-order when you’re at daisy green – worth every penny and calorie 😉

we also decided to try their frozen yoghurt after seeing a daisy green mobile froyo van parked outside their shop. the recommended toppings were berries and brownies so that’s what we opted for!
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetthe yoghurt was thick, creamy and smooth so if you like your frozen yoghurt icy then you probably won’t fancy this. i personally really liked it though, because that’s exactly the way i like my froyo! if i’m not wrong they only have natural flavour (which is what we had). i loved how it wasn’t tampered with by artificial flavours; there was a subtle sourness that many yoghurts tend to lose when in fancy flavoured forms. toppings were added generously and the berries were super fresh and sweet while the brownie was very yummy too!

the brownies, along with a few other treats are baked in-store. i know this because we were given a small door gift with a mix of all the treats they had available that day to take home with us:
20140118_141443we got a mix of their mars bar, brownie, coated banana and a flapjack-type thing if i remember correctly! all were pretty good (though i wouldn’t really rave about them) and the best part is, if the sticker that sealed the box was stating the truth, so guilt-free (or at least more so than their equivalents elsewhere) too!20140118_141434

all in all, our experience at daisy green was a lovely one. great food and drinks, great dessert and decor to boot, tucked away in a great location that is central yet quiet, and everything at reasonable prices! what more could one ask for? its been added to my list of places to go for brunch in london; i’d have a meal here over any of the bigger chains anytime.

PS. i hear their coffee is great, as are the wraps. oh and the banana bread! will definitely be back to give them a try!

Daisy Green

20 Seymour St
London W1H 7HX

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L’eto Caffe, London

i have never once walked past this cafe along wardour street without stopping to admire the cakes on display in the shop window. i never ventured in however, until the queue at breakfast club (see review here) proved to be way too long on a sunday morning, and this seemed to be a decent substitute that was round the corner. it was busy when we visited but not overly so, enough to have a nice lively atmosphere but yet not too crowded and noisy. we were pleasantly surprised by the pretty good range of breakfast/brunch items that were all reasonably-priced.

there was a steady stream of customers the entire time we were there, and when we left slightly before noon, there was a crowd at the door waiting to be seated so its definitely quite a popular choice in soho for good food! here’s the menu:20131020_104228

having seen the amazing cakes in the window, we seriously contemplated just having a massive breakfast of sweet cake treats, but since we had woken up that morning with our minds set on breakfast club pancakes, we decided that we would not be happy if we didn’t get our pancake fix, and ended up ordering the pumpkin and honey pancakes, 3 poached eggs served with tomatoes and avocado, as well as l’etos famous honey cake:20131020_110208

the servings were actually pretty small (or maybe they just seemed small in comparison to what we would have gotten if we had braved the breakfast club queue) but given the price we were paying, we were satisfied. service was brisk and extremely attentive, so we were happy customers!

20131020_105801pumpkin and honey pancakes with fresh berries and honey buttery sauce – £7.90

the pancakes were good! we both loved how they were really rather pumpkin-y, both in terms of texture and taste. they were light but i thought they could have been a little fluffier (they seemed to be more of the dense type of pancakes, possibly because of the pumpkin?) and maybe prettier too if they were more regularly-shaped (but this of course, is rather irrelevant because taste is what is most important, right?) 😛 i would also have preferred a more generous serving of berries, but was satisfied otherwise with the yummy honey drizzled all over as well as the nutty bits sprinkled on top that really added bite to the otherwise rather “soft” dish. i would say our pancake craving was successfully satisfied after this, so thats’s a good sign!

20131020_1102483 poached eggs served on warm artisan bread toast with tomato and avocado – £7.90

on hindsight, this is actually a really simple dish that can be put together at home for a fraction of the price, but i can never resist perfectly poached eggs and some avocados of perfect ripeness! the star of this dish was definitely the toast – the artisan sourdough bread they used was really yummy that it made me consider buying home an entire loaf. the eggs were poached to perfection (just look at that golden yolk just dying to burst and ooze out onto the bread!!! sorry i know my yolk fanatic tendencies are emerging once again…) and though simple, it was a satisfying dish of a trusty combination of ingredients that can never really go far wrong.

20131020_105550honey cake (about £4 for the slice if i’m not wrong!)

this cake is something i will return to l’eto for. we were spoilt for choice when it came to picking something sweet to end off our meal and were very tempted by other fancier looking tarts and amazingly prettily decorated cakes (check out pics at the end of the post), but this was the one cake that was highly recommended by the staff as their specialty and one of their most popular. i can definitely see why! despite the alternating layers of cream and cake, it was amazingly light and had a lovely honey flavour without being overly sweet as one would imagine. in fact, it was rather subtle (there was actually a stronger taste of caramelised biscuits than honey, i thought? not sure why though!), the cream was wonderfully fresh and i thought the cake had an interesting texture which i cannot quite describe. its definitely something that is rather unique and won’t find often at other cafes, so i’d recommend ordering this if you pay l’eto a visit!

besides cakes and things on the menu, they also have a counter for you to pick from a good range of salads and quiches if that’s what you prefer:
20131020_104058i certainly wouldn’t mind returning to give these a try!

l’eto is a good place in soho to have a light and affordable meal, and it seems that those cakes do taste as good as they look. so the next time you stop in your tracks to admire the amazing display of cakes in the shop window, why not allow yourself to succumb to temptation and have a cup of tea and some cake? i highly doubt you’ll regret it 🙂

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L’eto Caffe

155 Wardour St
London W1F 8WG