Saturday, 24 November 2012

Hackney brunchin': Dreyfus Cafe

Brunching options are hotting up in the Clapton area. I've raved about the wonderful Cooper and Wolf Swedish style brunch, I've sampled the eggs benedict at Shane's on Chatsworth (quality). Recently the lovely Cakey Muto has been doing a Sunday brunch of french toast, bacon and maple syrup (yet to try out), but a new favourite for a classic brunch is Dreyfus Cafe on the corner of Clapton Square and Lower Clapton Road.

Dreyfus Cafe is a light and bright neighbourhood cafe with a classic continental look: red leather banks, classy prints, bistro tables. None of this exposed brick and bare bulb aesthetic. Accordingly, the menu has a north/central/eastern European leaning - some meatballs, goulash, pacakes, smoked salmon and cream cheese, pastrami, warming soups. Excellent cheesecakes, and Has Bean coffee to boot!

We popped in for brunch a few weeks back and were pleased to see it doing a solid weekend trade, after a bit of an unlucky first few weeks' training - ill chefs, temp staff, half menus. The folk at Dreyfus picked up and it's now on good form.

I rate a brunch by the execution of the eggs benedict. These eggs are some of the best I've had. The top selling point for me was being able to mix and match your eggs - you could have any combination of eggs benedict (ham), florentine (spinach), royale (salmon). You could have two of the same, one on its own, one of each. Mindblowing - but why did nobody think of that sooner? I had a benedict and a florentine:

As the picture suggests, these are generously portioned - lots of ham, lots of spinach. Eggs poached to absolute perfection - just oozing yolk, and perfectly formed. The hollandaise is brilliant too.

My other half had pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, and my nibble suggests they were also a success. Great bacon, generous pancake portion. Yum.

The service, while friendly, was a bit hectic at the peak brunch hours of 11 - 12. When I popped in today for brunch there was a fairly long wait for food, which the staff warned us about. It's not a major problem when the food is this tasty, and I doubt anyone will not go back as a result, but the owners will need to make sure they have coping strategies for busy periods.


  1. Looks good, I've been meaning to ask you or Pete about a good lunch option in that area as I'm working there for a few weeks. Will check it out.

    1. So many great options. Drefyus is great, as is Pacific Social Club on Clarence Road - whopping big (toasted) sandwiches with really interesting fillings. Cooper and Wolf nice and have some tasty open sandwiches, also love 46b Espresso Hut.

    2. Oh and another good option might be NANA - a social enterprise operating out of the Elderfield Pub getting local nanas to make cakes, sandwiches and soups. It just opened this week and I really want to check it out.

  2. Whoops! I never saw those replies. I've been to Dreyfus a couple of times now and like it, although I've yet to try the eggs for lunch...I also seem to end up in Cooper and Wolf quite a lot. (Everyone seems to speak French there?)