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Sep 22, 2007 05:27 AM

S&M Cafe - veg style

Ever since being acquainted with bubble and squeak at a breakfast stall in borough market, I've wanted more of it, but it's not a standard offering at most breakfast places I've been to. Which is why, in addition to the provocative name, the S&M Cafe (sausage and mash) has been on my to-eat list, and I finally crossed it off this morning. The location off of Essex Rd has a lovely homey diner feel inside, and the outdoor seats have warm air blowing on your feet, which is perfect for taking the chill away if you happen to be walking in sandals on a nippy day as I was. I ordered breakfast that included bubble and squeak mash, vegetarian sausage, and toast. I was a bit disappointed that the bubble and squeak was not fried, but perhaps I was just naive of the subtle distinction in name, and, sigh, it's healthier anyway. The other surprise was the vegetarian sausage. It was grainy, with a texture that I finally identified as falafel-like, but just seasoned with a different set of spices; a nice break from the meat-mimicking chewiness of Quorn sausages (which I fully endorse in their own right). And a final note, the toast was from a proper loaf of white bread with a soft light center, rather than a square brick. Two thumbs up.

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  1. I went to the S&M in Spitalfields, and was underwhelmed. No matter what your ingredients and cooking skill, if you leave bubble and squeak hot in a steam table for several hours, as they do, the flavours mesh and then deteriorate, and there is no cabbage texture at all. B&S, R.I.P.

    2 Replies
    1. re: crowsonguy

      Hrm, that is unfortunate. Dunno if time of day or location makes a difference. In the stuff I had, cabbage bits were still cabbagey. But does S&M do other things well? A restaurant doesn't have to do everything perfect to still be worth going. But anyway, what's the point of breakfast if you don't have lots of fried goodness. Either I need to find somewhere else that serves up greasy bubble and squeak, or start fixing my own ...erm ... tofu roast dinners at home.

      1. re: minyming

        Two blogs worth reading if you're in London and into breakfast are the London Review of Breakfasts at http://londonreviewofbreakfasts.blogs... and the LiveJournal London Breakfast community at

        I went to the Islington S&M a few years ago and was also underwhelmed; the soss and mash were OK, but forgettable.