Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kalendar, London N6: Vegetarian English Fried Breakfast

vegetarian English breakfast

Is there anything as beautiful on the plate on a Sunday morning as a traditional English breakfast? This is the vegetarian version, as I am trying to be a little bit healthy, with poached eggs and a vege sausage, substituting for piggy bits & fried eggs.

I am quite aware that the term 'healthy English Breakfast' is an oxymoron, so I attempted to redress the balance with a basket of buttered granary toast and the bowl of excellent fat chips.

This particular breakfast was courtesy of Kalendar on Swains Lane, just by Parliament Hill in North London. C & I repaired there at lunchtime on Sunday to await the arrival of the tiny terrorists & their father, after our wonderful (infant-free) morning swim at the Highgate Ladies Pond on Hampstead Heath.

Sitting outside in the 27C sunshine, but protected from the direct heat by an awning, we ordered the large meze plate to get us through the wait, which featured upfront skewered slabs of marinated & grilled halloumi which elevated it from plain old squeaky cheese to salty, chewy heaven, and great puddles of smoky aubergine dip, houmus, & tzatziki, accompanied by skewers of grilled chicken, fat queen olives & brilliant tabouleh with each ingredient coming to the fore rather than the overdressed mush so common in London.

Because we have great big saucer eyes even bigger than our stomachs, P & I plumped for trad breakfasts, mine as above, P with porky products, whilst C had a textbook halloumi wrap and the infants shared a deep bowl of perfectly al dente penne with peas & home made pesto.

Altho, if truth be told, O-Monster homed in on my frankly ambrosial chips which I handed to him one at a time, coated in lashings of ketchup, in obvious preference to his delicious & nutritious lunch.

Kalendar is the kind of neighbourhood restaurant you wish existed in every part of London. With meat from Elite Meats just down the parade, cakes from Konditor & Cook & cheeses from Neal's Yard, along with free range eggs & organic bread, you'd expect the prices to be higher - but my vege breakfast was just £6.95.

Kalendar, 15A Swains Lane, Highgate, N6 6QX

Photo: by me, me, me