Market Place Cafe, W1W 8AD
- 020 7636 9671
- 4 Market Place
This greasy spoon just off Oxford Street has closed, as has its replacement cafe Joelle's. As of early-2014, the building is being refurbished with the upstairs floor becoming a branch of Honest Burger.
Market Place has a number of food places, and this one isn't immediately obvious. Look for the Bagelmania shop at the eastern end of the row of food places, and in front of it there are stairs down. Turn left at the bottom of the stairs.
There are internet terminals (£2/hour, minimum charge £1) and you can have half an hour free with any meal purchase of £3.50 or over.
Martin visited on a Friday lunchtime. The (very friendly and helpful) waitress offered me a choice of tables (yes, it's table service if you're not having takeaway) and pointed out the newspapers (Metros plus a Mail and a Telegraph). I ordered the English breakfast (£5.80). All of the prices were very reasonable (most if not all under £6), especially so considering the area. Inside, the place is clean and bright and cheerful, and very pleasant to be in.
When the food arrived, my initial favourable impressions were confirmed. I have never seen such a beautifully-presented English breakfast other than in the glossy (and sadly misleading) menus found in some motorway services. There, it's just a picture which bears no resemblance to reality. Here, it's on the plate in front of you. £5.80 bought me a fried egg, bacon (char-grilled into a cross-hatch pattern!), sausage, beans, tomato (fried, not tinned), mushrooms, chips and toast (a choice of white, brown or granary). Everything arrived well laid out, without a trace of surplus grease. The only disappointments were the sausage (typical mystery meat greasy spoon sausage) and the mushrooms (strangely soggy and tasteless button mushrooms - possibly tinned?).
Calling this place a "greasy spoon" conjures up the wrong image. Yes, it does fried breakfasts if you want them, but they form just one part of the menu, and the food, presentation and decor are definitely a cut above most greasy spoons. I'll definitely be returning!
Ewan comments: The vegetarian breakfast was excellent (see my review linked below). I've returned since then (January 2008) and had a takeaway eggs florentine (£4.50 when takeaway), which was a good size (two eggs, lots of hollandaise, spinach was on the tasteless side), and it made me feel better that morning.