Depo Cafe West End
So when I met my friend Sophie at Depo in West End this morning, I was feeling apprehensive about the post-feed unease I would invite upon myself this day. Glancing over the menu further freaked me out - everything was really unusual for breakfast fare (whaaaat no smashed avocado on toast?!), and to be honest, nothing really took my fancy.
After confirming with the waiter that they don't serve avocados, I opted for something that sounded kind of like it might be bruschetta. Sophie went for the black rice and tapioca porridge (with goji beriries + coconut + pepitas).
Let me just say, before I go any further, that the meal put before me was beyond perfection. While I was predisposed with a firm lack of enthusiasm at the prospect of Baguette with tomato + mozzarella + pesto + salad, the sum of the parts was infallible.
Its deliciousness spread far and wide, but ended right before it gets to the point that it becomes rich or over-delicious, if you know what I mean. The baguette, for one thing, was super quality. I don't think there's anything much better in this culinary world than damn fine bread. If you can get the bread right, everything else will follow. Pesto, mozzarella, and tomato - grilled - are a superb combination too, especially if the pesto is more herby than oily (which it totally was). Third, and of integral importance - the salad. Usually when cafes tack that little word salad onto the end of a menu item, you prepare yourself for a few limp iceberg leaves and about 1.5 cherry tomatoes, seeing as it's not meant to be the focus of the meal anyway. This salad was really delicious, and had all sorts of unexpected herbs thrown in, including dill, which I thought was very original!
It's with regret that I rate Depo's coffee as substandard. Really, I wish it had just been fab so that I could continue to rave about the place, but it really wasn't fab at all. The good news is, it comes served with outstanding biscotti, which has little chips of caramel through it. The bad news is, the coffee's still bitter. Admittedly, I was there early in the day, and it's entirely possible that the coffee machine wasn't yet cranked up, and perhaps the barista was also not yet cranked up. Understandable, so don't be deterred! I'm going to return for the baguette, and hopefully stay for the coffee next time.
I can't review Depo without mentioning the uniqueness of the environs. After all, part of the reason we eat out is to eat in a different setting, and Depo has nailed the 'converted loft-lounge' movement. Sophie and I were wondering where we can get furniture and decor to recreate our own Depo's at home, because it really does feel like you've stumbled into someone's industrial-chic warehouse. Funkily-upholstered armchairs abound, make sure you head here if someone suggests a drink and you really just want to crash out.